Media Contact

Cassidy Fallik, ACLU of Oklahoma Communications Coordinator, (913) 748-1278, cfallik@acluok.org

Carlos Martinez, Dream Action Oklahoma Communications Director, (405) 838-3712, Carlos@DAOK.org

February 10, 2020

Oklahoma City – With great disdain, we—a coalition of groups who lift up voices of the disenfranchised and oppressed communities in this state—express our most earnest opposition to HB3195. HB3195 mandates state and local authorities to actively engage in separating Oklahoma families and harming communities by requiring jails and prisons to comply with requests for immigration detainers issued by the Federal Government. 

While the bill’s constitutionality is disputed, it’s immoral motivation is not. We are appalled but not surprised: vicious attacks by legislators upon vulnerable immigrant communities has a long legacy, from HB1804 (2007) and beyond. As HB1804 was subject to lengthy legal disputes over its constitutionality, in which the Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld the excision of unconstitutional sections—we envision HB3195 will also invite judicial overrule. This type of legislation only serves to exacerbate the disconnect between politicians and the people they serve. 

And, Oklahoma does not need a policy that keeps more people incarcerated. Oklahoma leads the world in incarceration per 100,000 people. We know that not everyone who is incarcerated is a criminal–rather, they are overwhelmingly people who have been criminalized and abused in a system that profits off the poor, ill, disabled, communities of color, and otherwise historically marginalized and disadvantaged groups in our state. Local law enforcement and jails are not reimbursed for costs associated with complying with immigration detainers. Oklahomans will foot the bill to subsidize the practice of cruel separation of families with little-to-no accountability, while Oklahoma’s taxpayer money is already insufficient to fund our core services. Furthermore, while our State Government is willingly handing over state power and resources to the federal government, it is also usurping the power of local and county governments. HB3195 is aimed at legalizing racial profiling, police brutality, racism against non-white Oklahomans. If passed into law, this will be a law of oppression and racism. 

We have failed as a society and government if citizenship defines our humanity. We do not have to choose between upholding “rule of law” and humane treatment of all people. We can and must uphold the dignity and humanity of all, regardless of immigration status. Make no mistake—to our Christian Republican lawmakers in Oklahoma supporting this legislation, you are contravening the gospel of Christ:  

“I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Matthew 25: 31-40. 

Signed:

1.    Dream Action Oklahoma
2.    Community for Immigration Justice - Oklahoma City
3.    American Civil Liberties Union Oklahoma
4.    Dream Alliance Oklahoma - Tulsa
5.    The Black Wall Street Times
6.    Oklahomans for Equality 
7.    Oklahoma Call for Reproductive Justice 
8.    Ending Violence Everywhere 
9.    Black Lives Matter OKC
10.    Women’s March Oklahoma
11.    Oklahoma City Democratic Socialists of America
12.    Oklahoma Coalition for Revolutionary Action 
13.    Autonomous Brown Berets
14.    For the People Oklahoma 
15.    N.A.A.C.P. Oklahoma
16.    American Indian Movement Indian Territory
17.    College Democrats of Oklahoma
18.    New Sanctuary Network - Tulsa
19.    Woody Guthrie Center - Tulsa
20.    Immigrant Law Society, Tulsa University 
21.    Dan Allen Center for Social Justice - Tulsa
22.    Working People Lead - Tulsa
23.    Demanding a JUSTulsa
24.    Terence Crutcher Foundation 
25.    Met Cares Foundation 
26.    Block Builderz
27.    Rev. Donna Compton on behalf of the Social Justice Team of Church of the Open Arms
28.    Rev. Lori Walke, Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ
29.    Rev. Barbara Prose, All Souls Church 
30.    Rev. T. Sheri Amore Dickerson, Affirmative Action Chair of Oklahoma Democratic Party
31.    Rabbi Marc Boone Fitzerman 
32.    Ali Canada, Statewide Affirmative Action Officer
33.    Chris Shoaf, Activist - Tulsa
34.    Lorena Rivas, Attorney at Law 
35.    Melissa Lujan, Attorney at Law
36.    Fellowship Congregational UCC Church
37.    The United League for Social Action - Tulsa

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