So you gotta wonder where a whole State full of the most prodigiously, proudly, persistently "Christianist-religious" folks you can imagine got the idea behind the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007 which went into effect yesterday. Any person in Oklahoma who provides a ride anywhere to anyone not a legal resident is liable for a 1-year stint in the pokey.
I'll let The John Birch Society, one of the original sponsors of the measure, explain:
On November 1, a new illegal alien bill became law in Oklahoma, and it is one of the toughest in the country. Earlier in the week, on Monday, an opposition group delivered 1,100 signed petitions to the governor's office. On Thursday, local JBS leader Clark Curry delivered nearly 2,700 signed petitions he had collected at the 2006 Oklahoma State Fair in support of "no amnesty."I commend you to the site to cast your eyes upon the smiling author of this deathless prose.
"The people of the great state of Oklahoma have taken a giant step forward to protect the critical public resources available to legal, taxpaying citizens by passing the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007. Now they want to see it carried out," Curry stated.
The new law helps to keep illegal aliens from receiving public assistance by requiring proof of citizenship or valid visas before being able to get government identification, such as a driver license. Those charged with a felony or with driving under the influence will have their citizenship verified or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will be notified. The law also makes it illegal to transport or harbor illegal immigrants. Public employers and their subcontractors have to register with a Basic Pilot Program to verify the work authorization status of all new employees.
The law reads:The State of Oklahoma finds that illegal immigration is causing economic hardship and lawlessness in this state and that illegal immigration is encouraged by public agencies within this state that provide public benefits without verifying immigration status. The State of Oklahoma further finds that illegal immigrants have been harbored and sheltered in this state and encouraged to reside in this state through the issuance of identification cards that are issued without verifying immigration status, and that these practices impede and obstruct the enforcement of federal immigration law, undermine the security of our borders, and impermissibly restrict the privileges and immunities of the citizens of Oklahoma. Therefore, the people of the State of Oklahoma declare that it is a compelling public interest of this state to discourage illegal immigration by requiring all agencies within this state to fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. The State of Oklahoma also finds that other measures are necessary to ensure the integrity of various governmental programs and services."While there are those that claim we cannot deport all the illegal aliens," Curry said, "it’s clear to the state of Oklahoma that we won’t be catering to their needs any longer and in the resulting environment, they will merely deport themselves."
P.S.: In the interests of honesty and full disclosure, I hereby admit to having spent 30 wonderful years in Oklahoma, from 1994 to 2000.