Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Yesterday's article in The Oklahoman quoted State Representative Dennis Johnson- R-Duncan. Since that time, he has received a variety of inquires as to whether he SUPPORTS or OPPOSES HB 1804 aka the immigration bill. To clarify his position on the issue, Representative Johnson released a PRESS RELEASE this afternoon.

Contact: State Rep. Dennis Johnson
Capitol: (405) 557-7327

Johnson: Oklahoma’s Immigration Law Moves State in Right Direction

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s new omnibus immigration law placed Oklahoma at the forefront of an important national debate and should not be weakened, state Rep. Dennis Johnson said today.
"House Bill 1804, the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, drew a line in the sand on the issue of illegal immigration. By enacting this law, we sent a message across the nation that Oklahoma taxpayers will no longer subsidize illegal activity," said Johnson, R-Duncan. "I was proud to vote for the bill and continue to support it."
In a recent article in The Oklahoman, Johnson discussed the need for new federal immigration reform. Unfortunately, the article made it appear Johnson was calling for repeal of portions of House Bill 1804.
Johnson said he will oppose any effort to weaken the law during the coming legislative session.
"House Bill 1804 was approved because of the complete failure of the federal government to enforce existing immigration laws," Johnson said. "That failure has affected millions of U.S. citizens and is costing this country billions of dollars. Something had to be done and Oklahoma was one of the first states to take a stand by denying most taxpayer subsidized benefits to illegal aliens and by targeting corporations that illegally exploit them."
State Rep. Randy Terrill, a Moore Republican who authored House Bill 1804, said Johnson was a key ally in the fight to approve the legislation.
"Representative Johnson was an integral part of the team that got House Bill 1804 passed in the Legislature," Terrill said. "No one should doubt his commitment to cracking down on illegal immigration."
Johnson noted that approximately 30 other states are now considering legislation modeled on Oklahoma’s law and said that trend should serve as "a wakeup call" for federal legislators.
"I am not in favor of amnesty or legalization for people who are here illegally," Johnson said. "However, I do support efforts to simplify the federal process for law-abiding people to legally obtain U.S. citizenship. I also support temporary work permits that allow people to work here legally while being tracked by the federal government."
Johnson said modern technology would make it simple for the federal government to process citizenship applications and cull criminals and other undesirable elements from the applicant pool. Currently, the process takes years, "which makes no sense."
"If federal lawmakers create an efficient citizenship process, there will be less temptation for people to break the law and enter the country illegally," Johnson said. "It’s easy to understand why so many people want to come to America and improve their lives and care for their families. But that doesn’t mean the U.S. should have open borders with no way to know who has entered our nation or why they are here. It’s time for the federal government to act."

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