States are taking the lead on reforming immigration laws because the federal government has not done its job, a panel of experts said Monday at the University of Oklahoma, the Tulsa World reported Tuesday
Leaders from immigration advocacy groups spoke at the university’s Immigration in the Heartland Conference.
Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said his organization has helped many states draft immigration laws. His group has called for tighter immigration controls and for coordination of all government agencies to track immigrants.
"There's a need to have a partnership with the executive branch to carry out immigration laws," Stein said. "These state laws are about trying to carve out terms and put political pressure to do more.''
Many provisions of Oklahoma's 2007 immigration law have been challenged and upheld in federal courts. The one part going into effect requires employers to verify immigration status.
"You are going to continue to see citizens and state legislators saying 'We have to do something. What we have is not good government or public policy,' " Stein said. "The ultimate solution must be federal cooperation."
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