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Oklahoma Sen. Inhofe makes (mostly negative) statement on president's visit

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, released a statement on Wednesday a few hours ahead of President Barack Obama's visit to the state.

Inhofe, a frequent critic of the president, said, "I hope President Obama enjoys his time in Oklahoma, a great state where we understand what it takes to create economic opportunity for our local businesses and residents.

"Oklahoma prides itself in our domestic energy investments, robust exports, strong interstate network, and community-supported military bases. Because of our values and minimal, efficient local regulations, our unemployment levels have remained well below the national average during the recession and the historically long recovery.

"While President Obama is visiting the federal prison in El Reno, I hope he will address the most pressing issue in criminal justice reform, which is the 347,000 convicted criminal immigrants living in our communities today largely due to the president’s lax immigration policies.

"In 2013, more than 36,000 criminal immigrants were released back into our communities and neighborhoods and 1,000 of those went on to commit new crimes including rape, terroristic threats and various kinds of assault.

"In 2014, the Obama Administration released another 30,500 criminal immigrants with a combined 79,000 convictions. This is happening not only because of a porous border, but also because current immigration policy simply releases into our neighborhoods criminal immigrants whose countries of origin will not accept their deportation. President Obama has done nothing in his six years in office to resolve – much less discuss — this alarming loop hole in the criminal justice system.

"My colleagues and I in the Senate have introduced legislation addressing the immigration policies that are corroding our criminal justice system, and we will be taking more steps in the coming weeks to push this critical issue before the president and the rest of Congress."

Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›