Five state lawmakers, including two from Cleveland County, have asked for an attorney general’s opinion on whether the state’s new immigration law is enforceable.

State Reps. Bill Nations and Wallace Collins, both Norman Democrats, and Reps. Al Lindley, D-Oklahoma City; Al McAffrey, D-Oklahoma City, and Scott BigHorse, D-Pawhuska, sent a seven-page letter to Attorney General Drew Edmondson requesting the opinion, Edmondson’s office confirmed Friday.

The letter, dated Sept. 5, asked Edmondson whether the state’s new immigration law — created by House Bill 1804 — conflicts with federal immigration law. The state law was authored by Moore Republican Randy Terrill.

“As widely reported in the press, there is a great deal of confusion regarding what the bill does and does not do,” the letter states. “There are also questions regarding to how the law will affect public agencies, schools and other members of our constituency.”

Nations said he endorsed the request because “it’s almost impossible” to have a civil conversation about immigration.

“I think that a law of this sort, this approach, is punitive and not well thought out,” he said. “It’s reactionary. This is a complicated problem that needs to have a better solution. It’s frustrating, because the abililty to have moderates sit down in a room and use common sense and come up with a workable solution is very limited.”

Nations said lawmakers asked Edmondson 21 questions about the immigration law, including:

• Can public and private elementary and secondary schools “deny issuance of identification cards to students who are not U.S. citizens, nationals, lawful permanent residents?”

• Does “categorization of immigrants for the purpose of eligibility for school identification” constitute a state-imposed regulation of immigration?

• Can state officials, including judges “rely on a defendant’s current lack of immigration status to infer that he or she was not lawfully admitted to the United States?”

• Do full due process protections, including the right to counsel, apply to proceedings?

“We need solutions,” Nations said, “and solutions are not coming from Washington, D.C.”

Friday, Terrill said he expected the measure to be challenged.

“I’m not surprised in the least that somebody would be considering filing a challenge to the bill. Maybe they are hoping the attorney general will do their research for them,” he said.

Terrill said he was “99.9” percent confident that the bill would withstand any challenge to it. “House Bill 1804 is a carefully calibrated measure,” he said. “It’s designed to sync perfectly with federal immigration law.”

Terrill said the measure was written “well within” constitutional and federal immigration guidelines.

“A state cannot regulate immigration,” he said. “A state can, however, cooperatively enforce immigration law and the federal government encourages states to cooperatively enforce the law.”

House Bill 1804, he said, was not regulation but cooperative enforcement.

“This request is just the first step in trying to thwart implementation of the law,” Terrill said.

Rep. Collins disagreed, charging the law was aimed primary at Hispanics and, therefore, racist.

“I voted against the bill, I didn’t support the bill,” Collins said. “I think it was racist and aimed primary at the Hispanic population. I think that’s wrong.”

And while Terrill said recent polls show “a vast majority” of Oklahomans want tougher immigration laws, Collins said most Oklahomans didn’t understand the issue.

“People are not educated about the real facts of federal immigration,” he said. “They don’t understand.”

Edmondson’s spokesman, Charlie Price, said the attorney general will assign the letter to an associate for review. But that review, Price said, could take several weeks.

Portions of the law are set to go into effect Nov. 1.

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