Biden’s DOJ threatens another GOP state with lawsuit over anti-illegal immigration efforts

By Adam Shaw

The Biden administration is threatening to sue yet another Republican-led state over its efforts to crack down on illegal immigration — after suing two other states over their respective anti-illegal immigration bills.

The Department of Justice has written to Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and Attorney General Gentner Drummond about HB 4156 — legislation that makes it a state crime to be in the state illegally and gives local law enforcement the ability to arrest illegal immigrants, and require them to leave the state within 72 hours following conviction or release from custody.

The law was signed by Stitt this month and is due to go into force on July 1. It is similar to laws passed and signed into law in Iowa and Texas — and those laws have subsequently both been hit by lawsuits from the DOJ, which argues that it infringes on federal authority over immigration law and enforcement. The Texas law is currently on hold amid the ongoing lawsuit there.

“HB 4156 is preempted by federal law and violates the United States Constitution,” Principal Deputy Assistant AG Brian Boynton said in the letter to Oklahoma officials. “Indeed, the Oklahoma law is similar to Texas’s Senate Bill 4, which has been preliminarily enjoined.”

He argued that Congress has implemented a “comprehensive scheme governing noncitizens’ entry and reentry into the United States, including penalties for unlawful entry and reentry.”

“HB 4156, however, seeks to create a separate state immigration scheme by imposing state criminal penalties for violating the federal prohibitions on unlawful entry and reentry. HB 4156 therefore intrudes into a field that is occupied by the federal government and is preempted,” he said.

“The United States intends to file suit to enjoin the enforcement of HB 4156 unless Oklahoma agrees to refrain from enforcing the law. The United States is committed to the processing of noncitizens consistent with the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). HB 4156 is contrary to that goal,” he said.

Texas passed its own law making illegal immigration a crime last year, and other states including Iowa and Oklahoma have since followed this year. A measure in Arizona was vetoed by the governor, and there are now efforts to get the measure on the ballot in November.

Oklahoma responded to the DOJ threat days later, with AG Drummond promising to “vigorously defend” the law if the administration sues, while blaming the Biden administration for the crisis at the southern border.

“Your misguided demands ignore that Oklahoma has not only the sovereign right, but also the solemn legal obligation, to protect its own borders and its own citizens,” Drummond said.

“Acquiescence to this intolerable situation is not in my state’s DNA; neither is surrender,” he said. “As such, HB 4156 represents a meaningful, common-sense, and legally permissible step toward addressing and correcting that which the Biden Administration has willfully refused to enforce the last 3.5 years.”

Meanwhile, other states may soon have their own versions of the law. In addition to the Arizona ballot measure, lawmakers in Louisiana are moving forward with legislation similar to the Texas, Iowa and Oklahoma bills.

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There, the state’s attorney general has also pledged to protect the state if any lawsuit would follow.

“We’re following the bill as it moves through the Legislature,” Lester Duhe, press secretary of Attorney General Liz Murrill told Fox News Digital. “The Attorney General is committed to protecting the people of Louisiana from the dangers of illegal immigration, caused by Joe Biden’s open border policies.”

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