Recent Articles

Anti-immigrant laws punish families and children. Oklahoma lawmakers pass them anyway. (2024 Legislative Wrap-up)

Immigration is a complex issue, and gridlock in Congress has resulted in states venturing deeper into a legal area reserved solely for the federal government. In a state like Oklahoma, this means that lawmakers introduce punitive immigration policies meant to… Read more [More...]

Economic Projections for Asylum Seekers and New Immigrants in Oklahoma

Authored by Anthony Capote, Senior Policy Analyst at Immigration Research Initiative; David Dyssegaard Kallick, Director of Immigration Research Initiative; and Gabriela Ramirez-Perez, Immigration Policy Analyst for the Oklahoma Policy Institute. # # # Immigration is hardly a new social trend… Read more [More...]

One simple trick that will help Oklahoma’s small businesses and the economy

In a time of rising costs and inflation, there is one key policy change that lawmakers can pass to help small businesses, working Oklahomans, and our economy: Raise the minimum wage. Research shows that raising the minimum wage is good policy. A minimum wage is intended to act as a baseline to ensure that employers compensate their workers fairly for their hard work by providing a wage that can cover basic living expenses. [More...]

Progress made on evidence-based immigration policy reforms, but more work is needed

Sensible policy reforms related to immigration can benefit all Oklahomans by making us safer, healthier, and saving Oklahomans money. Two such measures were Senate Bill 669 and House Bill 2351. These two bills addressed different concerns around public safety and… Read more [More...]

Undocumented immigrants pay taxes: The $133.7 million elephant in the room

One of the most deeply ingrained myths about immigrants who are undocumented is that they don’t pay taxes. In reality, immigrants without documentation pay taxes in multiple ways and contribute more to the U.S. and state economy than they receive… Read more [More...]

A Mexican Consulate in Oklahoma City will help more than 100,000 Oklahomans

For years, Oklahomans have had to travel hundreds of miles to reach the nearest Mexican consulate for handling diplomatic transactions such as renewing passports, getting an identification card, or other routine services for Mexican and U.S. nationals. Commuting to the… Read more [More...]

Expanding unemployment insurance to more workers would protect families and Oklahoma’s economy

Unemployment insurance became a lifeline to many Oklahomans during the pandemic. In a period of widespread job loss, the transfer payments that this program provided working people with the means to feed their families and pay the bills while they… Read more [More...]

DACA is essential to Oklahoma

In October, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy was not legally adopted, leaving the future of more than half a million young people… Read more [More...]

Supporting immigration will boost Oklahoma’s economy 

Co-authors: Immigration Policy Analyst Gabriela Ramirez-Perez and Josie Phillips, former Policy Fellow – – – Immigrants are an integral part of Oklahoma’s economy. They work in essential industries, create jobs by starting businesses, care for our aging population, and contribute… Read more [More...]

Excluded in the Expansion: The persisting gaps in health care coverage for immigrant Oklahomans

Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma has allowed more than 300,000 residents to enroll for health care, but almost 82,000 Oklahomans who are immigrants remain uninsured. Since the mid-1990s, many immigrants are either partially or entirely ineligible for federal public benefits programs,… Read more [More...]