Oklahoma senator introduces bill to fund border wall

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TULSA, Okla. - An Oklahoma U.S. senator said he has the solution to the border and immigration crisis.

Senator Jim Inhofe unveiled a bill Thursday called 'The Wall Act.'

"A lot of the people don't think it's really necessary to have a wall," Inhofe said. "They don't think this is as big a deal as I think it is. The president has decided that, in order to really protect our interests in this country, we're going to have to do something that every other country does and that is have a wall."

If passed, the bill would do several things, such as increasing fines for illegal immigration and require verification of citizenship for welfare applicants. It would also require those seeking asylum to do so before they arrive in the U.S.

"The bill that we're introducing requires the states, a lot of the benefits that are federal benefits, (that) are actually distributed by the states," Inhofe said. "So, it requires the states, through e-verification, to show and demonstrate that that individual coming in has to be, is receiving benefits, has to be a legal citizen."

But, a legal expert said the bill is not likely to succeed.

"'I don't think so," said Professor Joseph Thai with OU's law school. "I mean, we have a budget crisis in this country and a deficit crisis, and there's just too many other needs that both Republicans and Democrats can agree on."

And, with President Trump's plan of changing the birthright policy, which guarantees those born on U.S. soil citizenship, Thai said it's not constitutional.

"Essentially, he wants to rewrite the Constitution, but the president can't do that," Thai said. "Congress can't do that either. To rewrite the Constitution, you have to amend the Constitution and that ultimately takes three-fourths of the states."

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