On Monday, the Oklahoma Senate will be the last battleground before a major part of the Republicans' 2007 legislative agenda lands on Gov. Brad Henry's desk.
A bill characterized as one of the most sweeping immigration measures in the country is scheduled to come to a final vote in the Senate, where a similar bill met its demise last year. If enacted, HB 1804 would deny food stamps, child care benefits and other state assistance to undocumented immigrants. It would make it a state crime for undocumented immigrants to reside in Oklahoma, establish penalties for employers who knowingly hire them, and crack down on identity theft and voter fraud.
Most interestingly, it appears that the legislation has done better this year because of the role immigration played in the elections last year:
One of the reasons the Democrats no longer control the Senate is that Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, wrested a traditionally Democrat seat in Cleveland County from Daisy Lawler, largely due to his stance on illegal immigration.
Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, the principal author of HB 1804, said immigration proved decisive in the Sykes-Lawler race.
"Illegal immigration is what took Daisy Lawler out," Terrill said. "She voted to let illegal aliens have Oklahoma driver's licenses, and she voted to have financial aid for illegal immigrants. There was no singularly more important issue in deciding that race."
Sykes evidently is an unusual politician. He remembers campaign commitments:
Sykes made immigration reform the pillar of his campaign, and pledged to co-sponsor Terrill's immigration reform bill this session if elected.
Sykes won the election by fewer than 500 votes in a district with 2,500 more registered Democrats than Republicans.
Not only did he make good on his campaign promise, Sykes has been instrumental in moving the bill through the Senate and will be responsible for whipping together the votes necessary to get the bill to (the Governorâ€™s) desk, Terrill said.
Part of the reason the White House Amnesty/Immigration acceleration measure is running into difficulty, it appears, is that so many freshman Congressional Democrats claimed to be against illegal immigration. So did Governor Brad Henry, who is now in an awkward position
During last year's gubernatorial campaign, Henry worked hard to portray himself as vigilant on illegal immigration. However, he has fueled the current drama by being conspicuously silent on the issue of late.
How he responds could be a significant pointer to how these Democrats withstand Treason Lobby pressure.
If they donâ€™t, they will be in trouble. Hostility to Americaâ€™s immigration disaster is clearly white hot below the MSM-assisted crust of elite unresponsiveness. (Oklahomaâ€™s mutiny was now doubt helped by the unmetropolitan character of the state, limiting MSM agenda control.) A recent Los Angeles Times story â€“ which omitted the election aspect - reported:
The legislation passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives 88-9 last month, despite opposition from religious groups and some of the state's most powerful business lobbyistsâ€¦."The business community is very concerned about the bill as it stands right now, said Mike Seney, a senior vice president with the state chamber of commerce. "This bill needs work."
(Object to Mike Seney)
I've never seen an issue like this in my nine years here, where [opponents] want to talk to you about it but don't want anyone to know," said state Sen. Kenneth Corn, a Democrat who is a co-sponsor of the legislation. "The sheer number of phone calls being received by members is just huge. This is a main street issue at the coffee shop. I would say this vote is going to have consequences on the 2008 elections."
(Oklahoma may target illegal immigrants and their employers By Miguel Bustillo, April 3, 2007 Access may require free registration)
Patriots will be thinking of Oklahoma on Monday