Last fall more than 70 percent of voters passed a constitutional amendment outlawing the use of Sharia law in Oklahoma courts, and state legislators have also pushed anti-Sharia laws, even though the Muslim legal code has never been introduced in an Oklahoma courtroom. On June 14 the Oklahoma state Supreme Court upheld most provisions of the state’s strict anti-immigrant law, passed in 2007 and seen as a precursor to Arizona’s infamous legislation. And this year Oklahoma City state senator Ralph Shortey introduced a suite of anti-immigrant laws including one billed as “Arizona Plus.”
Shortey is Native American and as a child lived on a South Dakota reservation. He said that’s one of the reasons he wants to send a message to undocumented immigrants that they are “not welcome” in Oklahoma. In March Shortey told a group of reporters with the Institute for Justice and Journalism that he knows what it feels like to have one’s land stolen, and he doesn’t want it to happen again through an influx of undocumented immigrants.