Suit targets state immigration law
BY ALTHEA PETERSON World Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
10/16/07 at 4:49 PM
Documents: Read the lawsuit.
Exhibit A :: Exhibit B :: Exhibit C
The National Coalition of Latino
Clergy filed a federal lawsuit Monday against Gov. Brad Henry and
Oklahoma Attorney General Drew
Edmondson, seeking to overturn
House Bill 1804, a strict new state
law against illegal immigration.
The suit alleges that the law is
unconstitutional and violates rights
to due process for undocumented
immigrants, who are listed as
"John Doe" or "Jane Doe" in the list
"The leaders and people behind
House Bill 1804 are guilty of ethnic
cleansing," said the coalition's
president, the Rev. Miguel Rivera,
at a press conference outside the
federal court building.
The Rev. Victor Orta II, the president of the American Dream Coalition, said the suit was no reason for
"It is a sad day for our state," said
Orta, a Tulsan. "Upon celebrating
our centennial, we have to present
a lawsuit on an issue like this.
"It is a bad law when children
born in America are at home this
morning from school because
The suit comes as no surprise to
HB 1804's co-authors, Rep. Randy
Terrill, R-Moore, and Sen. Jim Williamson, R-Tulsa.
The bill is constitutional and will
stand, both said.
Terrill said the lawsuit's allegations were "so absurd, outlandish
and preposterous and almost
laughable if they weren't so despicable."
"I am not worried in the least."
Paul Sund, a spokesman for Henry, declined to comment until state
lawyers can review the suit.
Rivera said the suit named Edmondson as a defendant because
he hasn't acted on requests to consider the law's constitutionality
through an attorney general's opinion.
Charlie Price, a spokesman for
Edmondson's office, said several
requests had been made for opinions on the law.
He said initial responses
were sent to five representatives mentioned in the lawsuit. The responses said that
the Attorney General's Office
needed more time to review
Rivera said time is of the
essence for illegal immigrants concerned about the
law, which is to go into effect
The local attorney for Rivera's coalition, Rohit Sharma,
said a request for an injunction to stop the law from taking effect on that date would
be filed Tuesday.
Althea Peterson 581-8361
The Rev. Victor Orta II (center), the president of the American Dream
Coalition, discusses a lawsuit seeking to stop enforcement of a state
law aimed at illegal immigrants. Listening to Orta are Rohit Sharma
(left), a lawyer, and the Rev. Miguel Rivera.