driver's license

Oregon Voters Reject Illegal Alien Driver’s Licenses

Voters in Oregon overwhelmingly rejected a law passed in 2013 that would grant driver’s license cards to illegal aliens. (Oregon Live, Nov. 5, 2014) Ballot Measure 88, which put Senate Bill (“S.B.”) 833 up for voter approval, was defeated by a landslide of 68% of voters in favor of vetoing S.B 833, with only 32% in support of the law. (Id.) The defeat of Measure 88 marks a huge victory for true immigration reformers in Oregon and nationwide. Currently, eleven states grant driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. However, activists in Oregon were the first state to hold their elected representatives accountable and put the question on the ballot.

Opposition against Measure 88 was entirely a grassroots effort. Oregonians for Immigration Reform, a local group whose mission is to support enforcement of immigration law, initiated the referendum of the law by working tirelessly to gather over 71,000 signatures in just a few months to get Measure 88 on the ballot. (Breitbart, Oct. 21, 2014) Supporters for the Measure included illegal alien lobby groups, labor unions, and businesses that profited off of the availability of cheap, illegal labor. (Oregon Live, Nov. 4, 2014) True immigration reformers raised only $37,000 to fight Measure 88, compared to the $421,000 raised by the illegal alien lobby to support it. (Breitbart, Oct. 21, 2014)

The movement to defeat Measure 88 gained momentum in April when sheriffs representing all 36 counties in Oregon came out in opposition to the Measure. (Oregon Live, Sept. 22, 2014) Sheriffs of Oregon Political Action Committee, which represents Oregon sheriffs, issued a press release stating: “The Sheriffs of Oregon support the citizens veto referendum #301 to overturn S.B. 833. We urge a NO vote.” (Id.) Tom Bergin, current Clatsop County Sheriff and former President of the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association, added, “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.” (Id.)

Supporters of illegal alien driver’s licenses appealed to public safety concerns, arguing S.B. 833 would improve public safety and increase the number of insured drivers on state roads and highways. (Portland Tribune, Oct. 16, 2014) These arguments, however, lost credibility after the law enforcement adamantly spoke up against the law. Dave Driscall, a retired Salem Police officer, described Measure 88 as “just a way for a select group of people to avoid Oregon law. It will not increase traffic safety or lower the number of uninsured drivers in this state. If allowed to stand Oregon could become a safe haven for criminals and terrorists.” (Oregon Live, Sept. 22, 2014) Indeed, a study published in the Journal of Insurance Regulation in 2011 reported that the average percentage of uninsured motorists is actually higher in states that have no lawful presence requirement for obtaining driving privileges. (National Association of Insurance Commissioners)

True immigration reform activists in the state were thrilled to learn of the outcome of the referendum. (Statesman Journal, Nov. 4, 2014) Cynthia Kendoll, president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, commented, “We wanted to get it to the ballot, and we wanted to let Oregon voters decide this issue. I think they’ve spoken loud and clear.” (Id.) Kendoll stated the outcome was a victory for those “sick and tired of big business, special interest groups and unions controlling our government.” (Oregon Live, Nov. 4, 2014)


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Polk County Republican Women welcome OFIR President

Alert date: 
2015-04-06
Alert body: 

OFIR President Cynthia Kendoll will address the Polk County Republican Women Wednesday, April 8th at 11:30am at  the Oak Knoll Golf Course on Hwy. 22.

 


 

Driver’s license demand surges

A surge of undocumented immigrants seeking driver’s licenses has surprised the California Department of Motor Vehicles, pouring in at twice the rate officials expected and underscoring massive interest in the new program.

Just three months after driver’s licenses became available to immigrants living in California illegally, the product of legislation advocates had pursued fruitlessly for years before prevailing and passing Assembly Bill 60 in 2013, 493,998 have sought licenses. The number has surprised officials who spent months bracing for an influx of new customers by hiring staff, opening new DMV offices and extending hours.

“The interest in this program is far greater than anyone anticipated,” DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said in a statement.

In preparing to offer the new licenses, the DMV estimated that about 1.4 million immigrants would apply over the course of three years. The new figures show they have handled one-third of that expected total in three months, a rate double what the DMV expected, although the official estimate of the total number of eligible applicants remains the same. About 203,000 people have received licenses .

An initial burst of applicants began to level off in February, said a spokesman for the DMV. He attributed the rapid pace to a mass information campaign that enlisted law enforcement, elected officials, consular authorities and foreign language media to get the word out.

“There’s been a lot of outreach from many groups, many organizations,”said Artemio Armenta, a spokesman for the DMV. “A lot of efforts from every angle, from social media to the news media to community organizations getting the word out – it’s been a big effort across the board.”

The swell of immigrant license seekers has led to longer wait times for walk-ins at field offices and processing centers, particularly in Southern California. In response, DMV officials have been encouraging customers to handle requests online or make appointments. They added phone lines, responding to customers complaining of getting busy signals when they called for appointments, and restructured the workflow at offices.

“We sort of have a triage system, if you will,” Armenta said. “We were seeing longer lines at the beginning because people were coming in early, hoping to be the first to apply for a license.”

Before immigrants can begin the process of taking written and road tests they must establish their identity and their California residency, a requirement that prompted consternation from advocates worried that many immigrants lack adequate documentation. But the DMV said the vast majority of applicants, 90.8 percent, have had the necessary documents.

The huge turnout also defied worries that immigrants accustomed to remaining inconspicuous would stay away, fearful of walking into government offices and identifying themselves as being in the country illegally even though the law creating the license program keeps applicants’ data confidential and prohibits the Department of Motor Vehicles from sharing it with other government agencies.

But many people have not been deterred. Apolonio Morales, political director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, attributed the extraordinary interest both to California’s investment in staffing and outreach and to basic word of mouth.

“It’s definitely the community talking amongst themselves and saying this is possible,” Morales said. “At the end of the day it’s that card in their hands that makes the difference, and that’s the proof to the rest of the community that it can be done.”

Social media also helped drive interest. A Moreno Valley woman, Erika Paz, launched a Facebook group called Preparándonos para las Licencias, roughly “getting ourselves ready for licenses,” that provides guidance on getting licenses. Its wall teems with people posing logistical questions and sharing tips in Spanish. As of Friday afternoon the group boasted over 15,000 members.

Paz said she empathized with the concerns she hears. She was a teenager when her parents brought her to the country and stayed after their tourist visa expired, making her presence unlawful. She still drove to attend classes and get to work. Now a legal permanent resident who is applying for U.S. citizenship, Paz said she spends upward of three hours a day aiding fellow immigrants.

“I felt it was my responsibility to get people ready to take their tests and help with the procedures and make sure the communities can unite and help each other as much as possible,” Paz said.

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Sheriff of the year a friend of Measure 88 campaign

Sheriff Tom Bergin worked diligently to secure the endorsement of the Sheriff's of Oregon PAC for the Measure 88 campaign.  Sheriff Bergin is a great friend of OFIR's and we salute his success.

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Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin was named Sheriff of the Year by the Western States Sheriffs' Association at its annual conference last week in Nevada.

Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin was named Sheriff of the Year by the Western States Sheriffs’ Association at its annual conference last week in Nevada.

The association includes sheriffs from 15 western states, including Oregon, Washington to North and South Dakota and down to California and Texas.

Sheriffs in the association receive training related to issues such as use of force, officer video cameras and numerous other court decisions.

In addition, the sheriffs work on immigration issues, conducting meetings with federal officials related to travel management plans on national and state lands and managing forests and federal law enforcement expansion authority, according to the association.

Bergin is on several committees and is the state representative for Oregon. He is also involved with legislative issues both in Oregon and at the federal level.

Western State President Sheriff Dave Brown presented the award to Sheriff Bergin.

“I am truly honored to receive this award. There are many deserving sheriffs but to be singled out as Sheriff of the Year for WSSA is a humbling experience that I will never forget and (will) treasure forever,” Bergin said at the ceremony.

Bergin is in his third term as Clatsop County sheriff and has been in law enforcement for almost 30 years, all of which he has served in Clatsop County.

Read the article here.
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Dorchester Conference left alot to be desired

Having defeated Ballot Measure 88 in 35 out of 36 counties and with a 66% NO vote, it seemed curious to me that a conversation about just exactly how that happened would be eminent on the floor at the Dorchester Conference.  Perhaps those people scratching their heads about what happened to Oregon Republicans in the last election should review what happened with Measure 88 - and why!  There is a clear message here!

Uber vs. Taxi was the lead topic of discussion on Saturday.  Disappointing, for sure.  A break-out session (one of three) to discuss immigration reform was offered late in the afternoon on Saturday. Read more about Dorchester Conference left alot to be desired

New Mexico House Votes to Repeal Illegal Alien Driver's License Law

On Friday, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed House Bill ("H.B.") 32, which repeals New Mexico's 2003 law that grants driver's licenses to illegal aliens. Currently, ten states grant driving privileges to illegal aliens. (CBS, Feb. 13, 2015) However, New Mexico is one of only two states that grant regular driver's licenses, as opposed to "driving privilege cards," to illegal aliens, in violation of the federal REAL ID Act. Washington is the second.

Originally, H.B. 32 was drafted to allow illegal aliens in the state to receive "driving privilege cards" in lieu of driver's licenses, in order to come into compliance with the federal law. (H.B. 32 Introduced Version) Last Wednesday, however, the House Judiciary Committee voted to amend H.B. 32 to create just one driver's license for both citizens and legal aliens, and to rescind driving privileges for illegal aliens all together. (H.B. 32 Amendment) Under the revision, illegal aliens with New Mexico driver's licenses will simply see them expire. (Id.)

The movement to repeal illegal alien driver's licenses in New Mexico has seen wide support amongst state officials and constituents. A 2014 Albuquerque Journal poll revealed that 75 percent of New Mexicans support repealing the state's current driver's license law. (Albuquerque Journal, Feb. 11, 2015) Greg Fouratt, the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety, explained his support for repealing the current law, stating "New Mexico driver's licenses have become a commodity for criminal rings across the country." (Id.) Rep. Paul Pacheco, the sponsor of H.B. 32, stated, "This bill is attempting to secure New Mexico's driver's licenses and bring us into compliance with the (federal) Real ID Act." (CBS, Feb. 13, 2015)

Proponents of the bill argue that granting driver's licenses to illegal aliens resulted in an increase in fraud and human trafficking to the state. (Albuquerque Journal, Feb. 11, 2015) Indeed, New Mexico has experienced high instances of fraud as a result of granting driver's licenses to illegal aliens. During an audit between August 2010 and April 2011, investigators found that as much as 75 percent of foreign national license applications were phonies. (KRQE) Between that same period, investigators also uncovered 37 percent of foreign national requests for appointments came from out-of-state, most from Arizona, Georgia, and Texas. (Fox News, Jan. 25, 2012)

H.B. 32 will next be sent to the Senate for consideration. The full Senate must vote on the bill before it can be sent to the governor for signature. Governor Susana Martinez has been pushing for repeal of the current driver's license law since she took office in 2010, and is likely to sign the bill if it makes it to her desk. (Albuquerque Journal, Feb. 11, 2015) Read more about New Mexico House Votes to Repeal Illegal Alien Driver's License Law

California DMV ordered to overlook identity theft by illegals

Illegal aliens may enjoy a free pass on identity theft due to a new investigative policy at California’s Department of Motor Vehicles  (DMV).

The policy, issued last year and effective as of Jan. 1, 2015, directs DMV investigators to overlook identity theft by applicants “who may have attempted to obtain or been issued a license or ID card previously through submission of false information.”

A DMV source who asked to remain anonymous provided Breitbart News exclusively with a copy of the newly enacted internal policy memorandum. The document informs DMV investigative officers that past identity theft is acceptable when the illegally acquired IDs were only used to obtain a driver license, and where the license or ID was not used to commit any other crime....

The policy seems to expect applicants to admit voluntarily to using a fraudulent driver license or ID for purposes other than driving a motor vehicle, if they did so.  Typically, identity theft may be prosecuted as a felony in California. The new DMV policy may be an attempt to protect illegal aliens from prosecution and conviction for a felony that could lead to their deportation, and disqualify them from President Barack Obama’s new “executive amnesty” policy.

... a naturalized or natural born U.S. citizen who attempted to obtain a driver license fraudulently would not receive the same consideration, and would be prosecuted as a criminal....

 

 

 

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Oregon State Legislature open for business Monday, February 2

Alert date: 
2015-01-30
Alert body: 

The Oregon State legislature will open Monday, February 2nd and run until early summer.

Please make an effort to contact your Legislator in person, by email or with a phone message and thank them for their service.  If you have suggestions or ideas, they would appreciate hearing from you.  Always be respectful, to the point and give an example of the issue to which you are referring.  Thank them for their time.

The Capitol is the people's house - own it.  Get involved, be a part of the process and work for toward solutions!

Illegal Alien Driver's Licenses Invite Fraud to States

States that grant driver's licenses to illegal aliens are beginning to see growing evidence of fraud in the application process.

This month, the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles ("DMV") announced that many out-of-state aliens have been fraudulently applying for driver's licenses in Vermont. (Watchdog, Jan. 22, 2015) The Vermont DMV made this announcement after it uncovered that at least 130 applications at just one of its DMV offices last month were filled out using false address information. (Id.) When applicants later arrived in person to take the driving portion of the test, investigators learned that many of these applicants were illegal aliens who had paid $2,000 to individuals in New York for help to obtain Vermont driver's licenses. (Id.)

Vermont is not the only state experiencing high instances of fraud in relation to its driver's license law. New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez recently re-ignited her appeal to dump New Mexico's driver's license law that allows illegal aliens to receive regular driver's licenses, in violation of the REAL ID Act. (KOAT Albuquerque, Jan. 20, 2015) Indeed, New Mexico has experienced high instances of fraud as a result of granting driver's licenses to illegal aliens. During an audit between August 2010 and April 2011, investigators found that as much as 75 percent of foreign national license applications were phonies. (KRQE) Between that same period, investigators also uncovered 37 percent of foreign national requests for appointments came from out-of-state, most from Arizona, Georgia, and Texas. (Fox News, Jan. 25, 2012)

Tennessee, which also passed a law to give driver's licenses to illegal aliens in 2004, has similarly experienced high instances of fraud in the application process. (Watchdog, Jan. 22, 2015) The state ultimately repealed the law in 2007 after it became apparent to officials that granting driver's licenses to illegal aliens contributed to "an excess of fraudulent resident documents." (Id.)

This month, the State of California is flooded with new applicants for driver's licenses after it began implementing Assembly Bill 60, its new law which grants driver's licenses to illegal alien residents. After the first week of implementation, the California DMV reported that over 46,200 aliens had applied for the special license. (KHTS, Jan. 6, 2015) Of this number, only about a third of the applicant pool passed both the written and driving portions of the test, with 64% of applicants failing. (Id.) California's new law is expected to cost the state over $220 million dollars over the next three years to implement. (Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary)

Driver's license legislation is proving once again to be a hot topic in state legislatures for the third year in a row, with some legislators still pushing to extend driving privileges to illegal aliens despite the mounting evidence of fraud in states that already do. For example, legislators in Rhode Island and Texas reintroduced legislation this month to extend driver's licenses to illegal aliens, after unsuccessful attempts in both states to push the idea last year. (Valley Breeze, Jan. 14, 2015; House Bill 68; Senate Bill 132)

Legislators in other states, however, are seeking a step back. In New Mexico, legislators followed Governor Martinez's appeal and introduced bills change the state's law. Representative Paul Pacheco introduced House Bill "H.B." 32 that would amend New Mexico law to only grant lower tier "driver's privilege cards" to illegal aliens instead of regular driver's licenses. (H.B. 32) Representative William Rehm went even further by introducing H.B. 79 to repeal New Mexico's law completely and reduce the period of validity for driver's licenses to only an alien's period of authorized stay. (H.B. 79) Read more about Illegal Alien Driver's Licenses Invite Fraud to States

No worries - just walk in and make yourself at home!

Alert date: 
2015-01-09
Alert body: 

Next week all Legislators will be at the Capitol building and conducting meetings Monday (12th), Tuesday (13th) and Wednesday (14th) and new Legislators will be sworn in, too.  They're gearing up for the upcoming 2015 Legislative session beginning February 2, 2015.

OFIR encourages you to visit your Capitol Building if you have not yet done so.  Walk the halls, sit in on a posted hearing, drop by your Legislators office and introduce yourself.  If they are newly elected, welcome them!

Always be respectful to everyone in the Capitol building.  Often Legislators are hurrying to meetings and don't have the time to chat.  Say hello to their office staff.

The Capitol building is yours and the people inside work for you.  You should feel comfortable in the building you own!

Remember to bring quarters for the meter.  Meters are strictly enforced!

Get involved, speak up and get busy!

If not you - then who?

If not now - when?

I'll see you at the Capitol!

Cynthia Kendoll - OFIR President

 

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