DOJ sues Oklahoma over state-level immigration law | WORLD
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DOJ sues Oklahoma over state-level immigration law

Demonstrators protesting the new Oklahoma immigration law Associated Press/Photo by Sean Murphy

DOJ sues Oklahoma over state-level immigration law

The U.S. Department of Justice filed federal charges against Oklahoma on Tuesday in an attempt to block a state law governing immigration. The law, referred to in the lawsuit as House Bill 4156, gives state officials the legal power and a framework to detain and punish illegal immigrants. The Constitution already gives the federal government power to oversee immigration, which makes the law invalid, the DOJ argued in a statement. Oklahoma’s law would impede the federal government’s immigration responsibilities and interfere with foreign relations, the DOJ added.

Haven’t other states taken a similar route to Oklahoma? Biden’s DOJ previously censured Texas for enacting a similar immigration law last December. An appeals court is weighing whether to allow Texas officials to enforce the state’s law. Louisiana’s state House of Representatives also advanced a similar immigration bill last month.

How has Oklahoma responded? State Attorney General Gentner Drummond has promised to vigorously defend the people of Oklahoma from the Biden administration’s lawsuit. Oklahoma has the sovereign right and legal obligation to protect its borders and citizens, Drummond said. Oklahoma is cleaning up the Biden administration’s mess by supplementing federal laws with state penalties, he added.

When signing HB 4156 into law, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said he was disappointed the bill was necessary but reiterated his commitment to protecting his citizens. Oklahoma has an opportunity to find solutions where the federal government has failed, he added.

Dig deeper: Read Addie Offereins’ report in Compassion on legal experts discussing the court battle over Texas’ immigration law.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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