Legislative leaders, attorney general form joint Immigration Reform Committee

Legislative Staff Release

Published 21-Jan-2011

Oklahoma House and Senate leaders this week announced the formation of a special joint committee to develop immigration reform proposals.

The group will include four members each from the House and Senate, as well as Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

“There must be consequences for those who intentionally break the law, particularly for those who endanger public safety or divert taxpayer resources,” said House Speaker Kris Steele, R-Shawnee. “The committee members will carefully consider proposals and develop a comprehensive reform package that truly meets the needs of Oklahoma.”

“We must remain committed to the will of our constituents who rightly believe that we are not finished with immigration reform,” stated President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa.  “It is important that we do what we said we would do and find solutions to Oklahoma’s problems.”

“I believe that we must respond to Washington’s failure to secure the border,” Pruitt said. “As the state’s attorney and top law enforcement office, we witness firsthand the consequences of Washington’s failure to do their job.  I look forward to contributing to the committee’s efforts toward finding sound solutions.”

As detailed in a press release sent to CapitolBeatOK, the group’s members include the following:

•                Rep. George Faught, R-Muskogee, co-chair
•                Sen. Ron Justice, R-Chickasha, co-chair
•                Sen. Roger Ballenger, D-Okmulgee
•                Sen. Dan Newberry, R-Sand Springs
•                Rep. Charles Ortega, R-Altus
•                Rep. Pam Peterson, R-Tulsa
•                Rep. Ben Sherrer, D-Pryor
•                Sen. Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City
•                Attorney General Scott Pruitt

Among other things, the committee will develop a reform package that addresses public safety issues and targets crimes associated with illegal immigration.

As part of the effort, the group will also consider proposals to better protect taxpayer money from subsidizing illegal immigration. Throughout the process, the special committee will seek input from private citizens and organizations.