OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed legislation directing all sheriffs, jailers and deputies to comply with any request made in an immigration retainer request provided by the federal government. House Bill 3195 is authored by Rep. John Pfeiffer (R-Orlando), who pointed to instances in Oklahoma where illegal immigrants have been released by local law enforcement despite their immigration status having been confirmed. Pfeiffer said the bill was requested by members of law enforcement to help define their role in these situations.
“I repeatedly heard from law enforcement in my district and from across the state that they needed clarification as to their roles in these situations,” Pfeiffer said. “House Bill 3195 requests that they comply with federal immigration agencies by alerting them to a person’s immigration status and holding a person for no longer than 48 hours while federal officials arrive.” House Bill 3195 was co-authored by Rep. Sean Roberts (R-Hominy).
“Our local law enforcement should be cooperating with federal immigration agencies in instances where a person’s status as an illegal immigrant has been confirmed,” Roberts said. “We’ve seen unfortunate situations in Oklahoma where our existing laws failed to keep our citizens safe by releasing an illegal immigrant before federal agents arrived.”
The legislation would require the person identified in the immigration detainer to be informed they are being held in accordance with the request from federal agencies. The bill states that a sheriff, jailer or deputy is not required to comply if the person has provided proof that the person is a citizen of the United States. House Bill 3195 passed the House by a 78-21 vote. It is now available to be considered by the Senate, where it is authored by Sen. Julie Daniels (R-Bartlesville)