The Oklahoma House passed on Monday its second bill of the legislative session.
House Bill 3195 would require sheriffs and other jailers to fully comply with federal immigration detainers. They are currently allowed discretion under state law.
Democratic Rep. Regina Goodwin said considering the first bill passed by the House is effectively an abortion ban, she wonders if Republicans are just passing the sort of bills that weren’t a focus in past sessions because they can.
"That does not stop the lawsuits that are going to be coming. It doesn’t stop the monies that are going to be wasted, and it doesn’t in any way help the people in Oklahoma that we really, really need to be helping," Goodwin said.
Democratic Rep. David Perryman said immigration law enforcement is a federal issue, and the House has issues like education and health care to attend to.
"We should be concerned about the future of our state, and we should be ashamed — we should be ashamed — that this type of bill is occupying the time of this House," Perryman said.
Democrats also accused Republican Rep. John Pfeiffer of using the premise of his bill to stoke fear in people. Pfeiffer said 0.58% of the Cleveland County Jail population is people on an immigration hold.
"I oftentimes get scared of numbers. I don’t often get scared of numbers that start with points in front of them, as there are oftentimes just things like this bill does that need to be clarified so we can move on and continue with our daily lives, letting our people do their jobs that they want to do and work with their federal law enforcement brothers and sisters," Pfeiffer said.
HB3195 passed 78–21 on a largely party-line vote.