Locals react to President Obama's immigration reform

Story Comments Share

Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 10/24/2013 7:07 pm Published: 10/24/2013 6:43 pm

President Barack Obama renewed his push for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform Thursday. There are concerns that the move could impact the local economy as well as local paths to citizenship.

FOX23 talked to one expert who thinks passing immigration reform, though controversial, would be a good thing for Tulsa. 

Tulsa university law professor Elizabeth McCormick has been tracking efforts to reform immigration for years. She thinks Tulsans would see several improvements in the community if thousands of illegal immigrants were able to become legal residents – and the first could be crime and public safety.

”(They’d have)more of a sense of security about the protection they had from our law enforcement agencies, because they wouldn't be afraid to reach out and to get help or to cooperate with police," said McCormick.

Opponents say legalizing immigrants would allow them to take jobs from those who have always been American citizens. But McCormick says not allowing illegals to have certain jobs is what's hurting our economy.

"There are certainly business owners who feel that they are being hurt by their inability to hire available immigrant workers who currently don't have authorization to work," said McCormick.

Jeremy Owens sees the biggest change being to our tax base.

"It's a lot better for us to have them as citizens and actually have them pay taxes and actually be a part of the government or the system than it is to just let them be immigrants illegally," said McCormick.

According to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic community spends more than $7 billion in Oklahoma's economy. Since city governments rely mostly on sales tax, Hispanic leaders argue illegal immigrants are already contributing to the tax base. But McCormick says that would only increase with legal status.

"Immigrants who would be working as part of the regular economy, as opposed to an underground economy would be more likely to have withholding from their paychecks. They would be more likely to purchase homes and pay real estate taxes," said McCormick.

That means more money for roads and schools. Not everybody thinks this is a good idea. FOX23 was unable to get anyone to talk to us on camera about opposing immigration reform but several said off camera that securing the border and stopping more illegals from coming in must happen before anybody is given legal status.

Story Comments Share

4 Comment(s)
Comments: Show | Hide

Here are the most recent story comments.View All

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

kindagreywolf - 10/26/2013 1:46 AM
0 Votes
So if I am an illegal immigrant, I can trespass, drive without a license and insurance, not pay taxes, get welfare with forged documents and be immune from prosecution? Being on disability, they are getting a way better deal. How do I resign my citizenship?

watergirl - 10/25/2013 8:39 AM
0 Votes
Has anyone thought about how they crowd emergency rooms using them for ear infections and such that should be treated with a regular doctor visit instead? Has anyone noticed how when they take over a part of town it gets gangs and violence in it? We already have enough people to give food stamps and government help too. We need to defend our borders like we really mean it. They are part of the reason our economy is in this condition. Where are all the fast food jobs for our teenagers these days? Make them legal? How about make them stay in their own country and clean it up and make it work for them? The bed bug problem has become out of control too by the way since they started flooding over here by the thousands. At least they could learn to speak English.

PawneeBill47 - 10/24/2013 10:57 PM
0 Votes
Criminals do not deserve citizenship! Anytime a professor is "studying" anything it is a liberal interpretation. They spend their lives in school, not the real world. Chamber of Commerce? How about Chamber for illegal immigrants, the Chamber has fought every piece of legislation to make them show ID, work permits or citizenship. Their bottom line is not AMERICAN jobs but cheap labor for industry. The chamber and most universities are a threat to America!

PawneeBill47 - 10/24/2013 10:54 PM
0 Votes
What a crock. 90% of the time when a "professor" studies it and reports, it is from a liberal standpoint. They spend their entire life in school then tell the real world what is best for them. Racists "Hispanic Chamber of Commerce." What if there was a "WHITE CHAMBER"? No matter Chambers across America could care less about America, it's the bottom dollar for businesses. They have fought any deportation/proof of citizenship workers for years. The Chamber is a friend of America like OJ was of Nicole Brown Simpson. These jerks came here illegally! Took American jobs, do not even bother to speak our language and get on welfare/food stamps almost immediately. NO GOOD CAN COME OF REFORM!
FOX23 Weather Center
Feels Like: 83°
High: 85° | Low: 49°
Partly Cloudy
Most Popular
Children found living inside meth lab operation;12 arrested
ROGERS COUNTY, Okla. -- Small children were found living in a meth lab operation. Now, a dozen people are behind bars. FOX23's Morgan Downing spoke exclusively with sheriff's investigators about what they found on a rural Rogers County ranch. Video Watch This Video
Top Stories
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.
Mobile advertising for this site is available on Local Ad Buy.