Former Oklahoma State Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, was convicted of bribery in Oklahoma County District Court.
Terrill is famous for “authoring” 2007’s anti-immigrant law in Oklahoma, more popularly known as House Bill 1804. I believe that a Washington, D.C., anti-immigrant group actually wrote HB1804 but as Terrill introduced the bill he gets the credit for authorship.
While HB1804 was partially a mean-spirited law, it ushered in a mean-spirited era into Oklahoma law enforcement that remains to this day where law enforcement officers went beyond the limits of HB1804 and federal law in dealing with both legal and unlawfully present immigrants.
The thing that always bothered me about former Rep. Terrill was not his attitude and demeanor which most critics focus on. It was the absolutely ungratefulness of Rep. Terrill toward the Hispanic population in central Oklahoma. Moore, Oklahoma, suffered through devastating tornadoes in 1999 and 2003. The rebuilding brought in large numbers of immigrant workers (both legal and unlawfully present in the USA) to Moore. Those construction workers came to Moore and while living here decided that the Oklahoma City area was a pretty nice place to raise a family. So, those same workers brought their wives and children here. And, as with most immigrant families, you might have United States citizen children, a lawful permanent resident mom, an unlawful immigrant dad and maybe U.S. citizen grandparents. This is the main reason for the increase in the Hispanic community in the Oklahoma City area.
Normally, when someone helps rebuild your town you say thank you. However, Rep. Terrill showed one of the worst instances of bad manners in the history of Oklahoma. His thank you to the Hispanic construction workers who helped rebuild his town was to pass a law that led to countless immigrant families being torn apart.
It is now 2013. We’ve had six years of mean-spirited treatment of immigrants in Oklahoma. But, we’ve also had another devastating tornado in Moore this year. Those immigrant construction workers who former Rep. Terrill saw fit to mistreat are now back rebuilding Moore yet again despite the fact that many of them go home at night to homes missing a mother, a father, a son or a daughter… Sent away due to HB1804. And, now, former Rep. Terrill finds himself convicted of bribery… To be sent away for a one-year prison term.