The Department of Justice (DOJ) has sued the state of Oklahoma over House Bill (HB) 4156, a new law that DOJ says “impermissibly creates a state-specific immigration system that effectively seeks to regulate noncitizens’ entry, reentry, and presence in the United States.” In the suit, DOJ likened HB 4156 to “Texas’s preliminarily enjoined Senate Bill 4 and Iowa’s recently enacted Senate File 2340.” HB 4156, effective July 1, 2024, creates new state crimes and imposes state penalties on noncitizens in Oklahoma who unlawfully enter or reenter the United States, the suit says.

DOJ’s suit notes that “Congress has established a comprehensive scheme governing noncitizens’ entry and reentry into the United States—including penalties for unlawful entry and reentry…and removal from the country.” The agency argues that “HB 4156 intrudes on that scheme, frustrates the United States’ immigration operations, and interferes with U.S. foreign relations. It is preempted by federal law and thus violates the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution. HB 4156 also violates the dormant Foreign Commerce Clause, which limits the power of the States to regulate the international movement of persons. Accordingly, the United States seeks a declaration invalidating, and an order enjoining the enforcement of, HB 4156.”