OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate gave final approval to legislation requiring Oklahoma law enforcement to comply with federal immigration officials. Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, and Rep. John Pfeiffer, R-Orlando, authored House Bill 2774 to assist the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with locating illegal immigrants who are detained.
“This bill gives our law enforcement clear direction on how to handle illegal immigrants in their custody, and especially when dealing with federal immigration agencies,” Bullard said. “With all the problems at our southern border, the number of illegal immigrants in our state is increasing daily, so it’s imperative that our police, sheriffs and other peace officers have clear direction to allow ICE to complete their work and intercept illegals in our prison system. Not only will this ensure that these criminals are held accountable by the immigration agencies, but it will help decrease our overcrowded prison population.”
HB 2774 requires all sheriffs, jailers, prison keepers, and their deputies to allow reasonable access to their detention facilities to ICE officials to identify inmates. The local agency must inform those being detained under such federal requests. The bill does not apply to detainees with proof of U.S. citizenship.
According to the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), there are an estimated 11 million illegal or unauthorized immigrants in the U.S.
“This bill will give our law enforcement agencies some needed clarity and will protect Oklahomans,” Pfeiffer said. “I’m grateful to my Senate author for getting this bill passed in that chamber. This should provide some peace of mind to our citizens.”
The bill will next be considered by the governor.
For more information, contact: Sen. Bullard: (405) 521-5586 or David.Bullard@oksenate.gov