Immigration Bills Stir Opposition - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Immigration Bills Stir Opposition

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The store fronts testify to an integral and economic piece of the Tulsa puzzle, but legal or not, many local Hispanics are feeling harassed by Oklahoma legislators.

"It's a harassment, and I think they're being racist," said Irma Ramirez, who  was in this country for 20 years before getting her citizenship.

Do you have undocumented friends and are they worried? "Oh yeah, of course, I do have, and they're very worried, they're even afraid to go out, even to go shopping because they're afraid of being deported," she said.

The legislative session began this year with some 30 bills aimed at illegals. That's been whittled down to a potent handful, proposing everything from seizing property to denying in-state tuition.

"These undocumented people do pay taxes," said Tina Pena, trying to tackle anti-illegal arguments one by one.

"When we go to Walmart we don't say, 'Hold my taxes I'm undocumented,'" she said.

"I think part of the conservative ethic is that we need to be pragmatic, we need to look at dollars and cents," said pastor Leonard Busch, saying that the economics favor illegals.

"There's a larger contribution to the economy, then there is a drain on the economy.

But economics aside, the bigger picture is the bulls eye many Hispanics feel painted on their backs, even if they are legal.

"The system doesn't work," said Pena.

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