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July 18, 2010 / J. Shaw

Fear Drives Many Illegal Immigrants From Mexico to Oklahoma

 
 
Mexican nationals appear to be entering Oklahoma illegally as steadily as ever for work, family and sanctuary from a violent homeland. They come despite a sagging economy and anti-immigration sentiments…in a state that was considered the forerunner on anti-illegal immigration legislation after the 2007 passage of House Bill 1804.
Jessica, 18, is a newly arrived illegal immigrant from Monterrey, Mexico. And based on anecdotal evidence and statewide statistics, she is far from alone.

Mexican nationals appear to be entering Oklahoma illegally as steadily as ever for work, family and sanctuary from a violent homeland.

They come despite a sagging economy and anti-immigration sentiments.

The Rev. Michael Chapman, pastor of Holy Angels Catholic Church near downtown Oklahoma City, likens the migration trend to “a flowing river.”

“I see new faces every week,” Chapman said. “Generally, they have some sort of family tie to the parish — a brother, a sister, a cousin.”

“The issue goes much deeper than people think,” said Chapman, who regularly conducts Mass in Spanish. “Are these people here illegally? Yes. Why? Mostly jobs. But maybe we ought to be asking ourselves who’s providing the jobs. Or who owns the homes these immigrants are living in. Follow the money, and you’ll be able to start to understand the complexities of the issue.”

House Bill 1804 sought to punish employers who profited from an undocumented work force, but the law has been mired in court appeals. The law featured 24 provisions, none more contentious than those that made it illegal to knowingly “transport, move, or attempt to move” an illegal immigrant. But a federal appeals court has since ruled that certain portions of HB 1804 can’t be enforced.

One element of the law that remains in effect is the requirement for public employers to use online E-Verify, a federal verification system that reveals a person’s residency status. The law also prohibits public employers from doing business with any contractor that doesn’t use the E-Verify system.

Yet some question whether an effective HB 1804 would have been enough to trump the exodus from Mexico.

MORE……http://www.newsok.com   Article by Ron Jackson  

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  • Read more: http://www.newsok.com/fear-drives-many-illegal-immigrants-from-mexico-to-oklahoma/article/3477251?custom_click=lead_story_title#ixzz0u5UWaYLD

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