For Immediate Release: March 16, 2011
Shortey wins Senate approval for immigration reform proposals
Sen. Ralph Shortey has won full Senate approval for Senate Bill 908, which would establish criminal forfeiture provisions for crimes related to illegal immigration.
“Today’s vote sends a message to the people of Oklahoma that we have listened to their concerns and acted accordingly,” said Shortey, R-Oklahoma City. “I authored this proposal because I care about the people of my district and have witnessed firsthand the manner in which illegal immigration can limit economic development, increase crime rates and tear families apart. Passage of this legislation is a strong step toward addressing the issue and a victory for Oklahoma.”
The measure identifies property that may be seized and forfeited upon conviction of crimes related to illegal immigration. SB 908 establishes a burden of proof that would require a person to knowingly and willfully enter into a contract with the intention of breaking the law to be subject to forfeiture. The bill mirrors federal statutes on racketeering and corrupt organizations, giving state and local law enforcement the ability to enforce immigration laws.
On Tuesday, the Senate approved Senate Bill 905. Shortey said the Oklahoma Official English Language Implementation Act would affirm the will of voters who last year approved a ballot measure making English the official language of the state.
“This proposal simply codifies the language, giving the voters what they asked for in November,” Shortey said.
Both measures now advance to the House for consideration.