Letters and Op-Eds

Welcome to the OFIR Letters and Op-Eds section.  Here you can read Letters to the Editor and Op-Eds that have been published in various newspapers and news sources.

Pilot Chuck Wiese

I formally endorse Patti Milne in her campaign for election to the Oregon State Senate, District 11.

As a professional airline pilot I thank you for your radio ads criticizing Peter Courtney and Governor John Kitzhaber for endorsing and creating ballot measure 88. They are spot on.

This measure as you have said is an irresponsible feckless political pandering to illegal aliens nationwide that jeopardizes a critical level of aviation security to all Oregonians and everyone using our national air transportation system. This measure should be rejected. Thank you for pointing this out.


Jay Burreson

No on Measure 88: Measure 88 aims to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants...

It is interesting that the people supporting this bill — wine makers, fruit growers, etc. — are people who employ low-wage, low-skill employees. Could these employees possibly be illegal immigrants?...

The real reason for this bill should be obvious.

Scott Smith

No on Measure 88: Why don't those who favor such nonsense as Measure 88 come out and say what they really believe: that the rule of law means everyone born into this world has an equal right, not of opportunity... we're all the same and no law should distinguish the masses. Only one law exists in their utopian fantasy: mandated tolerance — which is really no law at all.

Measure 88 has nothing to do with race....At its core, this issue is a reminder that civilized nations of diverse citizenry live better under a just and ordered law. Those who break it, no matter how long they've gotten away with it, should pay the penalty, not be accommodated with lesser law.

Measure 88 is an injustice to those who respect the legal and social traditions of this country. I will vote no.

Daily Courier

The Voters' Pamphlet is out, and if we look at the arguments in favor of Measure 88, the proposition to extend driving privileges to illegal aliens, we discover it's supported by a band of greedy business folks who want cheap labor and left-wing politicians looking to expand their political base.

Maybe the most laughable argument of all is the contention that illegal aliens will drive anyway, and giving them driving cards will compel them to buy insurance thereby making Oregon's highways safer. But who in their right mind thinks people who illegally entered the country and use fake identification to gain employment and leech into government programs will buy insurance?

It didn't work in New Mexico or Tennessee. The experience of licenses to illegals in Tennessee was so horrendous they put an end to the program, while Gov. Susana Martinez in New Mexico has been frantically trying to end the insanity of licensing illegals there. A recent poll by the Albuquerque Journal found 75 percent of those polled opposed issuing licenses to illegals. One of the major reasons was the aliens who were supposed to buy insurance did not.

Surprise, surprise — vote no on Measure 88.

David Olen Cross

Oregon’s voters during the 2014 General Election will have a chance to vote on Senate Bill 833 that will appear before them as Ballot Measure 88.

The passage of Ballot Measure 88 would require the Oregon DMV to grant to persons “who cannot prove legal presence in the United States” a special state issued identification called a driver’s card.

In reaction to the state driver cards’ legislation, sheriffs across the state have stepped forward to oppose the ballot measure.

The Sheriff’s of Oregon Political Action Committee, representing the political and public safety concerns of state’s 36 county sheriffs, has come out in opposition to the legislation with the following statement: “The Sheriffs of Oregon support the citizens veto referendum No. 301 to overturn SB 833. We urge a NO vote.”

Tom Bergin, Clatsop County Sheriff, past President of the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association, made these statements on the driver cards’ legislation: “It is wrong to provide special driver’s licenses to people who cannot prove legal presence in the United States. For Oregon to do so, will only enhance the ability for criminal behavior, thus creating a larger risk to our citizens’ public safety. The Sheriffs of Oregon urge you to oppose this measure.”

Tim Mueller, former Linn County Sheriff, expressed these thoughts on driver cards: “Giving a person a driver’s license who is in this country illegally is flat out irresponsible and does nothing to protect the citizens of this state.”

Oregon voters should heed the wisdom of Oregon’s sheriffs, who have joined together with the citizens from Protect Oregon Driver Licenses to oppose driver cards for those “who cannot prove legal presence in the U.S.” and vote “No” on Ballot Measure 88.


C. H. McMillan III
Herald and News

The Citizen petition drive that forced Measure 88 to the ballot this November, temporarily saved legislators, who drafted this bill and voted to enact it, along with our Governor who signed it, from committing felonies described below:

Section 274 FELONIES

Immigration & Naturalization Act 274A(a)(1)(A): [condensed]

A person (including a group, business, organization, or local government) commits federal felony when they:

Assist aliens s/he reasonably suspects lack authorization, or illegally in the U.S., by transporting, sheltering or assisting them.

Knowingly assist illegal aliens due to personal convictions.

Encouraging and Harboring Illegal Aliens: It violates law to conceal, harbor or shield from detection in any place, any building or means of transportation, any alien in the United States in violation of law. Harboring is conduct that substantially facilitates an alien to remain in the U.S. illegally.

Penalty for felony harboring: fine and imprisonment up to five years; if bodily injury or jeopardy to life results, up to twenty years; if a death occurs, penalty can be life.

Don't let misplaced compassion make you an accessory to this unlawful legislation. Oregon as sanctuary for undocumented aliens by granting driving privileges isn't in the best interest of legal residents. It¡¦s inevitable that crimes like vehicular assault/homicide, drug running, human trafficking, welfare abuse, voter fraud and gang violence will all increase not things Oregonians should welcome or encourage.

Please vote no on Measure 88!

Lyneil Vandermolen
The Bulletin

Although Gov. John Kitzhaber claims that Measure 88 will promote insured driving among people who can’t prove they’re legally in the country, the lax requirements and glaring omissions of the bill seem tailored to accommodate illegal immigration in the guise of safety. It neither guarantees insured driving nor prevents the driver card from being used as identification.

For instance, Kitzhaber says Measure 88 “requires” applicants to get insurance, but David House, of DMV Public Affairs, contends bluntly: Liability insurance is not a requirement for driving privileges … including the proposed driver card that is under SB 833.

The devil is in the details. Applicants may get a card without buying insurance by testing in someone else’s insured car, (as do most 16-year-olds). The state can’t know if the applicant will drive an insured car afterward or cancel a policy if he has one.

State Rep. Kim Thatcher recalls that enthusiasts of driver permits for illegal immigrants warned against ending their driving privilege because they assumed it would increase uninsured driving. However, they accidentally proved their opposition’s point by initiating periodic ODOT reviews. The rate of uninsured accidents stayed the same between 2007, (the last year of driving privileges) and 2013.

This suggests the number of uninsured drivers stayed the same too. New Mexico noticed that its non-compliance rate rose slightly to 24 percent after it began issuing licenses to illegal aliens in 2003. It rose to 26 percent, the second highest in the nation, between 2004 and 2009. Tennessee also tried and canceled such permits.

If the state meant to ensure mandatory collision policies why did they allow such a flaw in SB 833? Even the official Yes on 88 flier doesn’t mention an insurance requirement. That hasn’t stopped various Measure 88 proponents from claiming new permitees must comply, but applicants already know that obeying the law is optional.

Another flaw in the driver card is its potential as identification. The bill lists several acceptable cases for ID but prohibits almost nothing, a loophole that could endanger the public now that Transportation Safety Administration’s spokesperson, Nico Melendez, said the TSA will accept the card as ID for air travel.

The federal REAL ID Act also requires a driver’s license “equivalent” to look different from the original and warn that it cannot be used for federal ID. Instead, the new card is nearly identical to our driver’s license except for the word “card” on a purple stripe instead of the word “license” on a blue stripe. It carries no warning, because the Legislature voted to ignore the federal Real ID Act in 2009.

The ID problem started even before the original bill passed the Legislature, when an ACLU affiliated lawyer named David Chaimov submitted his interpretation to the Secretary of State’s office about the allegedly narrow uses of the card without highlighting its potential use as identification. Ellen Rosenblum added the ACLU report to her formal summary.

The driver card is exploitable as designed and defined, and not only against unwitting bureaucrats and cashiers. Given that Mohammed Atta entered the U.S. legally and used his valid driver’s license to commit a 911 hijacking, would we assure the misuse of a nearly identical version of our ID granted for illegal presence? Will the duplicity, vague restrictions, and its acceptance by the TSA create more dangerous results than a bureaucratic mess?

Given its flaws, the card seems to be an attempt to protect the status quo instead of to guard the integrity of our driver’s license/ID. The state seems to be responding to pressure from unionized state bureaus that depend on a growing client base, coupled with demands from employers and ethnic organizers. The welfare of relatively quiet citizens, by contrast, must seem easier to ignore.

In November voters must decide if the illusion of safer law-breaking contrived by various special interests is an acceptable excuse for the Oregon driver card. Voting no on Measure 88 draws a line in the sand.

— Lyneil Vandermolen is a board member of Oregonians for Immigration Reform. She lives in Powell Butte.

Cliff Girod
Statesman Journal

In the last legislative session, our legislators and governor passed a law (Senate Bill 833) that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain "driver cards" for four years.

Individuals would not have to be here legally in order to obtain a driver card and be able to drive legally in Oregon. The driver card applications would be available after Measure 88 passes.

However, last summer, a group of Oregon citizens (Oregonians for Immigration Reform and Protect Oregon Driver Licenses) were able to collect the signatures of almost 60,000 registered Oregon voters, which then stopped SB 833.

Thus, Oregon registered voters will now have an opportunity to annul the recent action of the legislators and governor and give registered Oregon voters an opportunity to vote "no" on Measure 88 in the November election.

Thank you, Sheriffs of Oregon political action committee, for your recent article urging voters to oppose Measure 88, which would allow people to drive and obtain insurance illegally. Their stand that offering the privilege to people who are breaking the law doesn't make sense to them.

I agree and feel we should support the people hired to protect our laws.


Jean Groce
Catholic Sentinel

Your articles about measure 88 are not the views of many Catholics. You are misleading your readers.

Immigrants are welcome and are allowed to apply for an Oregon Driver License. Illegal aliens are not. We are a nation of laws. Lawbreakers should be punished, not rewarded. Those who violate our laws don’t deserve special favors. Even Jesus evicted the evildoers from the temple.

Vote NO on measure 88. This measure is funded by large organizations that want to take advantage of cheap laborers who work for low wages.

My 12 younger siblings and I worked all summer on the farm. All 13 of us are still alive. Our children and grandchildren now, are having a tough time finding jobs. In the 1970s, I picked berries and took my children with me to teach them how to work. Since then Oregon has forbidden young children from fieldwork.

As a lifetime 83-year Catholic, I vote no on measure 88.

Richard LaMountain
Catholic Sentinel

How should Catholics vote on Measure 88, which would create driver cards for illegal immigrants?

Today in Oregon, more than 200,000 U.S. citizens and legal residents are jobless or “involuntary part-time workers.”

Yet, concurrently, 120,000 illegal immigrants may hold Oregon jobs. Most of these are in fields like food services, construction, and building maintenance -- jobs occupied disproportionately by young, minority and low-skilled Oregonians. Driver cards would better enable illegal immigrants to take and keep those jobs.

Does this matter? Yes. A nation is a common people, an extended family -- in founder John Jay’s words, a band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties.” It is natural, moral -- and Christian -- to favor that fellow people, that family, first and foremost over others.

Catholics should vote no on 88. By doing so, they’ll protect Oregon jobs for the fellow Americans who have the greatest claim to our Christian compassion.