So glad you asked; there is a lot of misinformation out there.
I am fully in favor of stopping illegal immigration (in fact, the first issue that got me interested in politics was illegal drugs and that is one of the main reasons I could never be a libertarian. Obviously you cannot separate our illegal drug and illegal immigration problems.) I am in favor of all of the strictures discouraging employers from hiring illegal immigrants and publicly praised legislators for voting for HB1804 for law and order reasons.
Now, here are the things I have said which have been taken out of context. I stated in 2006 that as we stop illegal immigration, we must remain welcoming to legal immigrants and not let rhetoric reach such a pitch that we confuse the two. Next, I have represented businesses in immigration matters. That means that I have helped them comply with the laws (such as getting a green card for a foreign engineer or transferring an executive from overseas).
This leads to two things. Number one, I know the laws inside and out and can point to where we can do better - for instance by providing a clear definition of the difference between employees and independent contractors or improving the reliability of the E-Verify system. Some in the [Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee] have taken these suggestions for improvement as indictments of the efforts to address the problem. However, my representation of these companies has given me a personal vested interest in stopping illegal immigration. Companies only pay me to help them get immigrants here in a legal fashion (with respect to immigration cases, the vast majority of my practice deals with workers' comp, unemployment, etc.); when someone jumps the line in front of them, I more than almost anyone know how unfair that is.
I hope this clarifies the issue. Please feel free to contact me at 405-414-3655, my personal cell, if you have any further questions.
Reese also recently issued the following press release:
REESE RESPONDS TO COSTELLO ATTACKS
Labor Commissioner Candidate Sets the Record Straight
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma--Responding to a recent statewide direct mail piece by his opponent, Jason Reese took advantage of the opportunity to further define the clear differences between himself and Costello.
“Mr. Costello has stated he is willing to spend ‘whatever it takes to win this race.’ Now he’s made it clear he’s willing to say whatever it takes to win,” said Jason Reese.
Costello’s mail piece grossly misrepresents Reese’s record on the issues. Reese replied that he’s happy to set the record straight.
"I am against illegal immigration and am unapologetically in favor of legal immigration."
Reese, a labor and employment attorney with extensive experience in immigration compliance, went on to explain, "No one more knows how unfair illegal immigration is than legal immigrants. In my legal practice, I have assisted businesses statewide in complying with HB1804 and other immigration laws. I will bring that expertise to the Oklahoma Labor Department."
In the mail piece, Costello went on to attack Reese as an attorney “who supports more rules.” “Mr. Costello is absolutely right,” explained Reese. “I am in favor of a rule on the state level banning workplace discrimination against National Guard and Reserve members. Costello opposes this rule. Voters have a clear choice in this race: a candidate with extensive public and private experience who will stand up for veterans or a glib, fringe candidate utterly lacking in relevant experience critical to the Oklahoma Labor Department.”
Jason Reese is a candidate for State Labor Commissioner, the office that oversees and enforces labor and employment regulations in Oklahoma. Reese is an Oklahoma City labor and employment attorney with extensive experience in employment discrimination law.
For more information on Reese for Oklahoma Labor Commissioner, visit www.ReeseforLabor.com.