Oklahoma House Passes Arizona-Style Immigration Bill
Posted: Mar 10, 2011 4:42 PM EST Updated: Mar 10, 2011 4:42 PM EST

Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A bill patterned after an Arizona measure that allows local law enforcement to stop motorists and inquire about their immigration status has been approved in the Oklahoma House.

The bill passed Thursday on an 85-7 vote despite concerns from some members it didn't go far enough to target businesses that hire illegal immigrants.

Republican state Rep. George Faught of Muskogee says his bill is designed to focus primarily on expanding the authority of law enforcement to crack down on illegal immigration. The bill stiffens the penalties for human smuggling and allows law enforcement to seize property used to harbor or transport illegal immigrants.

State Rep. Randy Terrill, a fierce critic of illegal immigration, says the bill has been watered down at the request of powerful business interests at the Capitol.