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.

Donald Moberg
The World

No on Measure 88. I am 91 years old, born in the USA, and served in the U.S. Navy over five years, with honorable discharge.

I had copies of my birthday certificate and discharge papers as I went to renew my drivers license. Motor vehicles would not accept these and was required to mail to Iowa to get original birth certificate.

You would think my holding a drivers license for 70 years would be enough for renewal.

If I was required to do this as a true American that fought this whole World War II in the South Pacific, others, no matter where they are from, should need more proof than a green card.

Bud Gleim
Mail Tribune

A word of caution about the measures in our voters' pamphlet: I used to count the "in favor" and "in opposition" arguments, then vote for the ones with the most "in favor" or against the ones with the most "in opposition." Clever, and eliminated the need to read every one. Read one, you've read them all, I thought.

I discovered I could learn a lot by identifying who posted the argument. Measure 88 has 29 arguments in support; 16 were paid for by Caroline Fitchett of "Yes For Safe Roads." At $1,200 per submission, Fitchett forked over $19,200 to champion Measure 88.

Call me cynical. Does Fitchett believe that strongly in Measure 88? Could someone else be bankrolling her submissions and paying her to use her name? If so, why the deception?

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.