Sen. Brian Crain Seeks Additional Immigration Reform

State Sen. Brian Crain said today it is time to refocus Oklahoma’s efforts to demand meaningful immigration reform at the national level.   Crain, a former prosecutor, said Washington D.C.’s failure to act has put the lives of American citizens at increasing risk.

“While the federal government continues to do nothing but curry favor with internationalists, our border continues to leak.  The Obama Administration’s ineffectiveness is leading to rampant lawlessness, increased drug trafficking and the growing potential for more domestic terrorism,” said Crain, R-Tulsa.

Crain, a candidate for President Pro Tempore of the Senate, said the passage of HB 1804 was an important first step, but said it didn’t answer all the problems resulting from illegal immigration into Oklahoma.  He said comprehensive immigration reform must address three areas.

“First and foremost, we must gain control of our borders—without that, all other efforts will make little impact.  And, like all other states, we must demand that the federal government pass and enforce reasonable measures to target criminals who have entered our country illegally and continue profiting at the expense of law-abiding citizens,” Crain said.  “Lastly, we need to facilitate the immigration of those who, like the rest of us, want to enjoy the American dream and reap the just rewards of hard work and good citizenship.”

Once borders are secured, Crain said the nation must determine who is in the country illegally by calling on all undocumented aliens to tell law enforcement who and where they are and how they support themselves.  

“Likewise, we must launch a concerted effort to locate and deport those who do not come forward and prevent them from returning.  Those who comply and can verify they are not criminals or gang members would be required to continue reporting their location and activities to law enforcement.  They must also agree not to seek government assistance and to obey all laws,” Crain said.  

“If they comply with all these requirements, after five years these now-documented aliens would no longer be tracked, although law enforcement would monitor to see if they committed any crimes.  After seven years those meeting all requirements could apply for U.S. residency or citizenship.”

Crain stressed this approach was not amnesty.

“I strongly oppose a blanket pardon for all illegal immigrants.  What I propose would give authorities seven years to determine whether someone here illegally should be deported, never to return, or if they should be allowed to stay because they would benefit our country,” Crain said.

Crain, who chairs the Senate’s Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, said it would be impossible to deport 20 million people living here illegally and send them south of a border that is not currently protected.  He noted that the cost to the nation in taxes and lost economic opportunity would be devastating.

“As Senate leader, I will demand that our federal government meet its commitment to protect our national sovereignty as well as the security of the state of Oklahoma.  Since the Obama Administration seems intent on doing nothing, I will keep up the pressure on Congress to develop a plan to deport those who attack our society while providing a method to integrate those who truly want to share in the American dream.”