Oklahoma Lawmaker Seeking To Pass Immigration Bill Tougher Than AZ's SB 1070
With all the fervor over the anti-immigrant and anti-Latino legislation in Arizona, not nearly enough attention is being paid to the happenings in Oklahoma. Republican state Representative Randy Terrill has been introducing legislation for years that is intended to "roll down the welcome mat for illegals."
Rep. Randy Terrill Spearheaded Legislation That Ended Spanish Language Drivers' Tests And Charged An Extra Fee For Money Wired Out Of The Country
Terrill Plans To Strengthen Anti-Immigrant Laws In Oklahoma. According to the Wall Street Journal: "In coming weeks, Mr. Terrill said he planned to introduce a bill similar to Arizona's new law, making illegal immigration a state crime. His legislation would add asset-seizure and forfeiture provisions for immigration-related crimes and harsher penalties for undocumented immigrants caught with weapons. Soon, he plans to attack birthright citizenship, which he describes as the 'holy grail of illegal immigration.' The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees that anyone born in the U.S. is a citizen. Mr. Terrill said it was 'intended to give freed slaves citizenship,' not confer it upon the children of undocumented immigrants." [Wall Street Journal, 5/10/10, emphasis added]
OK Hispanic Chamber: Terrill's 2007 Immigration Law Has Cost State $1.8 Billion. The Tulsa World reported that the Oklahoma Hispanic Chamber of Commerce "contends that House Bill 1804, a 2007 immigration law, has cost the state $1.8 billion in lost economic activity. State Rep. Randy Terrill, the principle author of HB 1804 and leader of the legislators seeking additional immigration measures, disputes the figure. 'There is no direct correlation they can point to,' he said." [Tulsa World, 5/6/10]
Terrill And Other OK Lawmakers Seek To Pass An Immigration Law That Is Arizona "Plus." According to the Tulsa World: "House Speaker Chris Benge, R-Tulsa, said Thursday that he isn't interested in taking up immigration this session, but Terrill said he, Rep. Rex Duncan, R-Sand Springs; Rep. Mike Christian, R-Oklahoma City; and Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore; are still trying to introduce a version of the Arizona law along with what he called three 'plus' features...The new Arizona statutes broaden law officers' authority to detain suspected illegal immigrants. The 'plus' features contemplated by Terrill and the others involve possession of firearms, seizure and forfeiture of property involved in illegal immigration, and expansion of state racketeering laws to include activities associated with illegal immigration." [Tulsa World, 5/6/10]
Terrill Has Introduced Several Pieces Of Legislation Targeting Undocumented Immigrants. According to the Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Terrill, first elected to the Oklahoma House in 2004 to represent a bedroom community of Oklahoma City called Moore, said his constituents began questioning him about the influx...
His first immigration bill in 2006 was deemed too harsh and failed. The next year, he drafted the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007 to eliminate most public assistance and taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal immigrants and to discourage employers from hiring them. It passed, and is among the most far-reaching illegal-immigrant laws at the state level.
The measure made it a felony to assist or transport any undocumented person for commercial purposes; prohibited illegal immigrants from getting a driver's license or any form of state identification; and directed local law enforcement to step up cooperation with federal authorities on immigration enforcement. [Wall Street Journal, 5/10/10]
The Chamber Of Commerce "Defeated Two Employer-Related Sections" Of Terrill's Legislation. The Wall Street Journal reported: "The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with the chambers of Tulsa and Oklahoma City, successfully defeated two employer-related sections in federal court, including one that required businesses to verify the work eligibility of individuals hired as independent contractors. The court upheld a provision requiring state contractors to use an electronic verification system to check whether new hires can work legally in the U.S. Another portion of the bill remains stuck in court." [Wall Street Journal, 5/10/10]
Terrill: "Flagrant Illegal Immigration Threatens The Very Integrity Of Our Republic." According to the Wall Street Journal: "Mr. Terrill, 40 years old, condenses his views on the issue into phrases, such as, 'Flagrant illegal immigration threatens the very integrity of our Republic.' He won a landslide victory in the Republican primary in 2008, which he said validated his illegal-immigrant crusade." [Wall Street Journal, 5/10/10]
Terrill Wrote Bills That Ended "Spanish-Language Drivers' Tests" And Charged $5 For "Overseas Money Wire Transfer." The Wall Street Journal reported: "Last year, Mr. Terrill successfully introduced several narrower measures, including one that halted Spanish-language drivers' tests and another that imposed a $5 fee on every overseas money wire transfer. 'My idea is to slowly but surely roll down the welcome mat for illegals,' Mr. Terrill said during an interview at the state capitol. Latin Americans, he said, won't acculturate as did previous waves of U.S. immigrants." [Wall Street Journal, 5/10/10, emphasis added]
Rep. Randy Terrill's Issues With Money
Terrill Sits On The Appropriations & Budget Committee In The Oklahoma Legislature. According to his official biography, Randy Terrill is a Republican representing Oklahoma's 53rd district. He is the Assistant Majority Floor Leader and sits on the following committees: Public Safety & Judiciary (chair), Appropriations & Budget, Judiciary, and Public Health. [OKHouse.gov, accessed 5/14/10]
Financial Disclosure Problems
Terrill Has "Failed To Report Almost $13,000 In Campaign Contributions." The Oklahoman reported: "Controversial state Rep. Randy Terrill failed to report almost $13,000 in campaign contributions he received last year until questions were raised by The Oklahoman. He filed amended reports with the state Ethics Commission after the questions were raised. The reports list the donations as going to his 2008 campaign." [The Oklahoman, 4/11/10]
Of Over $3,300 In Unreported Expenses, More Than $2,700 Went To Terrill's Wife. The Oklahoman reported: "Terrill's amended report shows $3,337 in previously unreported campaign expenses. Expenses include $2,720 paid to Terrill's wife, Angela, for reimbursement for 'Christmas Campaign & Office Supplies' on Dec. 14 and 'Candy & Parade Supplies' on Nov. 2. Terrill previously said his 2010 campaign had conducted a Christmas mailing and bought candy to distribute at a Halloween parade. Donations from at least two political action committees that reported giving to Terrill in December 2009 were not listed in Terrill's amended report." [The Oklahoman, 4/11/10]
Terrill Did Not Disclose Funds From "Secretive" Group Funded Unknowingly By Injured Workers. According to The Oklahoman: "Terrill still has not disclosed another $900 in 2009 donations, commission records show. The still-undisclosed contributions include $500 from Working Oklahomans Alliance, a secretive group formed by workers' compensation attorneys, which in the past was funded by money taken from injured workers who sometimes didn't even know they donated." [The Oklahoman, 4/11/10]
- Working Oklahomans Alliance Found To Have Deceitfully Funded Their PAC Through Client Settlements. The Oklahoma City Journal Record reported that the Working Oklahomans Alliance "PAC was targeted by an Ethics Commission investigation after it came to light that some workers' compensation plaintiffs had unwittingly contributed to the PAC at the time they received their settlement due to the efforts of their attorneys. Ethics Commission reports from the second quarter of 2008, just before the new rule went into effect, show the PAC distributing thousands of dollars to other PACS. Between April 1 and July 1, the Working Oklahomans Alliance transferred $113,750 to other PACs and candidate committees." [Journal Record via FindArticles.com, 1/23/09]
Terrill Deposited 2008 Contributions To 2010 Campaign Account, Although He Does Not Officially Have A 2010 Campaign. The Oklahoman reported: "According to the reports, Terrill's 2008 campaign last year received $8,750 from political action committees. Terrill, R-Moore, also listed more than $4,000 received from individual donors, including $1,776 from himself. Terrill, 40, had previously reported no donations last year. Checks from at least two of the political action committees that gave to Terrill last year were deposited in a bank account for Terrill's 2010 campaign, according to copies of the cancelled checks provided by the committees to The Oklahoman. Terrill has not filed paperwork with the Ethics Commission to set up a 2010 campaign." [The Oklahoman, 4/11/10]
Terrill On Clearing Up Donation Discrepancy: "I Do Not Feel Inclined." According to The Oklahoman: "Terrill declined Friday to provide reporters with copies of contributor statements that would show whether the unreported contributions were intended for his 2008 or 2010 campaign. 'I do not feel inclined,' said Terrill, who is chairman of a House appropriations committee for public safety." [The Oklahoman, 4/11/10]
Terrill Refused To Provide Bank Records For 2010 Re-Election Campaign. According to The Oklahoman: "Terrill on Friday also declined to provide reporters with bank records for his 2010 re-election campaign bank account that would show how much money he has collected and spent for the campaign. Terrill had previously provided deposit records and shown reporters a debit card for his 2010 campaign bank account." [The Oklahoman, 4/11/10]
Terrill Has Failed To Report Several Campaign Contributions. According to The Oklahoman:
The Oklahoma Optometric Political Action Committee reported a $400 donation to Terrill. Working Oklahomans Alliance reported giving Terrill $500. Neither donation has been reported by Terrill.
The amended report, filed March 30, does not list a $5,000 contribution from the Oklahoma Public Employees Association that has since been returned to the labor group.
A copy of a cashier's check from Terrill's campaign to OPEA's political action committee for that amount is dated March 25.
OPEA provided a copy of the cashier's check upon request. OPEA reported the contribution on its Ethics Commission report in August. Terrill previously said he deposited that $5,000 contribution Oct. 21 in the bank account for his 2010 campaign. He blamed the oversight on a paperwork problem. [The Oklahoman, 4/11/10]