Oklahoma immigration law facing new court challenge News
Oklahoma immigration law facing new court challenge

[JURIST] Lawyers for an Oklahoma man filed a taxpayer lawsuit [complaint, PDF] Thursday seeking to overturn a state immigration law as an alleged violation of the state constitution. The Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007 [HB 1804 text, RTF] denies illegal immigrants state identification and requires all Oklahoma government agencies to verify immigrants' citizenship before conferring benefits. The suit, which names Gov. Brad Henry [official website] and the Tulsa County Board of Commissioners [official profile], argues that the law is unconstitutional because "it creates a Bureau of Immigration and allows for the appropriation and expenditure of public funds" and improperly delegates legislative power to federal authorities. AP has more. The Tulsa World has local coverage.

The bill, which took effect on Nov. 1, 2007, was challenged [JURIST report] by the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders in federal court last October. US District Judge James Payne dismissed [JURIST report] the challenge by saying the plaintiffs did not have standing to sue because none of them had suffered a cognizable injury as a result of the bill. The constitutionality of the law remained open to challenge in other proceedings as Payne did not rule on the merits of the case. The bill is considered one of the country's toughest on illegal immigration [JURIST news archive].