Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Okla. Immigration Law Hearing Ends without Injunction

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Okla. Immigration Law Hearing Ends without Injunction

Article excerpt

A hearing before a Tulsa federal judge concluded Wednesday without a preliminary injunction Latino leaders had sought to stop Oklahoma's new immigration law from taking effect Thursday.

U.S. District Judge James Payne did not say whether he would rule on the injunction Wednesday night before the law becomes effective.

An injunction would stall the law while the challenge to its constitutionality continues in federal court.

The plaintiffs asked Payne to declare House Bill 1804 unconstitutional because it violates several sections of the U.S. and Oklahoma constitutions, including those guaranteeing the rights of equal protection and due process.

The lawsuit was filed by the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders, churches and others, including several John and Jane Does.

State attorneys argued that the plaintiffs have no standing to bring the legal challenge, because they can show no actual harm done to them by a law that has yet to become effective.

In the latest round filed in the lawsuit, the challengers added a construction company and replaced one restaurant with another in their list of plaintiffs.

They told the court that T-Mac Construction, which has 30-35 employees, complies with federal law, but would not enroll in the status verification system outlined in the law if HB 1804 had not been enacted. However, they said that the company will enroll in the "burdensome and time consuming" program on Nov. 1 to insulate itself from the liability created by part of the new law.

They said that T-Mac will require independent contractors to show proof of lawful status, unless otherwise directed by the court.

The construction company is losing revenue, the court was told, because it will no longer rent four properties it owns to undocumented aliens and has been unable to find tenants.

Also added as a plaintiff in the amended complaint was Chelino's Restaurant. …

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