driver's license

Stolen Lives

Bicameral Legislation Introduced to Stop Greenlighting Drivers’ Licenses for Illegal Aliens

On Wednesday, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Representative Ken Buck (R-CO) introduced legislation that would block grant funding from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to local law enforcement in sanctuary states with policies that permit illegal aliens to obtain drivers’ licenses. . .

Legislators’ negligence on driver licenses backfires

OFIR has fought long and hard against issuing driver licenses to illegal aliens and in favor of Oregon becoming compliant with the Real ID Act.

“The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.  The Act established minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards.” – Department of Homeland Security.

Now, 15 years after the Act was passed, the deadline looms, on Oct. 1, for states to comply, or its citizens lose convenient access to air travel.

Not so surprisingly, the Oregon legislature and our governor have blocked efforts to pass the necessary Real ID measures. In essence, they have been and still are, putting the interests of illegal aliens above the safety and well-being of citizens.   Now citizens face an impossible rush to get Real ID compliant i.d.   Take a moment to read the article that appeared in Sunday’s Oregonian.

Editorial: Oregonians pay the price for legislators’ Real ID protest

Sunday, January 26, 2020  -  By The Oregonian Editorial Board

Boy, Oregon legislators sure showed the federal government a thing or two, didn’t they?

Even though Congress mandated 15 years ago that states adopt stricter standards for issuing driver’s licenses, Oregon lawmakers refused for years to spend a dime of state money to comply with the Real ID Act. Instead, the state sought extensions from the federal government and largely ignored the upgrade requirements, arguing that the federal government should pay for them. But in 2017, Oregon legislators finally gave in and authorized spending to meet the requirements. Oregon, which is poised to begin issuing the federally-approved licenses in July, will likely be, the last in the country to come into compliance with the law.

Legislators may feel their futile protest was a virtuous one, but Oregonians are the ones paying the price. Starting Oct. 1, all air travelers must have either a Real ID-compliant driver’s license, a passport or passport card in order to fly in the United States. Unfortunately, because the state won’t start issuing those new licenses until July 6, there’s not nearly enough time for it to meet expected demand before the Oct. 1 deadline. As The Oregonian/OregonLive’s Andrew Theen reported, the state typically issues 600,000 to 700,000 renewals and replacement cards in an entire year. But there are about 3.25 million Oregonians with drivers’ licenses that won’t meet the new standard. …

Read the rest of the editorial here.

Gov. Brown betrays voters’ mandate, signs HB 2015

Today, Oregonians for Immigration Reform expressed anger and disappointment at Gov. Kate Brown's signing, on August 9, 2019, of House Bill 2015, which will provide Oregon driver licenses to illegal aliens.

"In 2014, our group spearheaded the ballot measure via which Oregonians, by a two-to-one margin, rejected the 2013  Legislature's approval of 'driver cards' for foreigners here illegally," said OFIR president Cynthia Kendoll.  "Yesterday, when she signed House Bill 2015, Gov. Brown told those Oregonians what their vote meant to her and to her accomplices in the Legislature: absolutely nothing."

Rather than honor the clearly-expressed mandate of those they were elected to serve, Kendoll continued, "our governor and Legislature chose to undermine U.S. laws against illegal entry and, instead, reward foreigners who have broken into our nation."

Illegal aliens, said OFIR communications director Jim Ludwick, "steal jobs from Oregonians, particularly from racial minorities and young people just beginning their working lives.  As well, the state and local government services they consume cost Oregonians more than $1 billion a year."

And, continued Ludwick, "more than 900 foreign nationals with federal immigration detainers -- the vast majority of them here illegally -- are inmates in our state prisons.  Most of them have committed violent crimes against innocent Oregonians."

After all this, concluded Ludwick, "what do our governor and Legislature do?  Pass a law to give illegal aliens driver licenses and, thereby, to encourage even more of them to come to our state."

In the history of Oregon politics, Kendoll noted, "one would be hard-pressed to find an instance where lawmakers more starkly betrayed both their constituents' best interests and clearly-expressed will."

Oregonians for Immigration Reform, founded in 2000, is a grassroots citizens' organization that advocates for an end to illegal immigration and a reduction in legal immigration.  OFIR and its thousands of members and supporters have qualified two measures for Oregon's statewide ballot: 2014's Measure 88, mentioned above, and 2018's Measure 105, which sought to repeal Oregon's illegal-alien sanctuary law (ORS 181.820A).

NO on HB 2015! Call Oregon Senators this week!

Alert date: 
June 19, 2019
Alert body: 

HB 2015 (drivers licenses for illegal aliens) is on the edge of the cliff and we need your help to stop it! Contact your Senator and, if you are able, contact every other Senator, too.
Remind them that Oregon voters already said NO with a 66% NO vote. New Zogby polling shows that 63% of Oregonians still OPPOSE drivers licenses for illegal aliens.
Call or email today! Time is running out. 
 

Let voters decide who gets driver's license

Alert date: 
April 18, 2019
Alert body: 

Responsible citizens should step forward, defend government by the people, and demand that the Legislature refer House Bill 2015 to a vote of rank-and-file Oregonians.

By Richard LaMountain, in Portland Tribune, Thursday, April 18, 2019


In 1902, Oregonians approved an amendment to their state Constitution giving rank-and-file voters the power of referendum — the ability to seek to put bills passed by state lawmakers directly before their fellow citizens for a vote.

Today, however, Oregon's Legislature — the very institution the referendum was designed to curb — stands ready to dismiss a decision those citizens made via referendum barely four years ago.

Rep. Diego Hernandez, D-Portland, has introduced House Bill 2015 to offer driving privileges to illegal immigrants. If approved by the House and Senate and signed by Gov. Kate Brown, the bill will nullify the overwhelming mandate against those privileges that Oregonians delivered in 2014 via Ballot Measure 88, a citizen-initiated referendum.

The Legislature's Democrats are solidly behind the bill; as they outnumber Republicans 38-to-22 in the House and 18-to-12 in the Senate, its passage appears certain.

Rather than approve House Bill 2015 and send it to the governor, however, lawmakers should refer it to a vote of the people.

For the reason why, consider some recent history. In April 2013, the House voted 38-to-20 and the Senate 20-to-7 to pass Senate Bill 833, which would have offered four-year driver cards to illegal immigrants. On May Day of that year, then-Gov. John Kitzhaber signed the bill.

Over the next four months, Oregonians opposed to its enactment collected the signatures of more than 70,000 registered voters. In doing so, they succeeded in referring the bill to the November 2014 ballot as Ballot Measure 88, to be approved or rejected by their fellow Oregonians.

Over the next year, driver cards' supporters and opponents inundated rank-and-file Oregonians with information and arguments.

The result? On Election Day, voters rejected illegal-immigrant driver cards by the same 2-to-1 margin by which their legislators had approved them.

On this issue, then, our state's system of direct, citizen-initiated democracy manifested a yawning chasm between Oregonians and its lawmakers.

Today, it appears, that chasm remains.

Late last month, Zogby Analytics released the results of a poll, conducted March 18 and 19, of 500 likely Oregon voters. Its major findings:

• 63% oppose, and 30% support, granting driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. This is virtually identical to the outcome of Ballot Measure 88: 66% against driver cards, and 34% in favor.

• 68.4% believe the Legislature "must respect the decisions made by the voters through the ballot initiative process." Only 18.7% believe the Legislature should enact policies "that have been previously overturned by the voters."

Given this, should voters' rejection of illegal-immigrant driving privileges now be cast aside — by the very lawmakers, indeed, the voters rebuked for approving those privileges in the first place?

Legislative Democrats premise their support of House Bill 2015 on the same criteria they did a half-decade ago: that illegal-immigrant driving privileges will enhance road safety and enable "Oregonians" (their euphemism for foreigners here illegally) to travel more easily to work, school and church.

If they have confidence in these arguments, they should have the courage — the Zogby poll notwithstanding — to introduce them in the court of public opinion and to make their case directly to voters.

If, however, the Legislature and governor enact the bill outright — knowing full well it will negate the mandate against illegal-immigrant driving privileges their constituents delivered but four years ago — they will betray Oregon's system of direct, citizen-initiated democracy and demonstrate contempt for the judgment of the people they are elected to represent. This will compromise the credibility and, indeed, legitimacy of our state's government.

Responsible citizens should step forward, defend government by the people, and demand that the Legislature refer House Bill 2015 to a vote of rank-and-file Oregonians.

Richard F. LaMountain, a former vice president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, was a chief sponsor of 2014's Ballot Measure 88. He lives in Cedar Mill.

Zogby Poll Shows Oregon Voters Oppose Giving Driver's Licenses to Illegal Aliens, says FAIR

SALEM, Ore.,  /PRNewswire/ -- A new statewide poll of likely voters finds that Oregonians still overwhelmingly oppose granting driver's licenses to illegal aliens. Voters also thoroughly reject efforts by the State Legislature to override the will of two-thirds - nearly a million Oregon voters - who prevented an earlier effort to grant licenses to illegal aliens, from going into effect. The Equal Access to the Roads Act of 2019 (HB 2015) would once again allow people living in the country illegally, to gain access to Oregon driver's licenses and official state photo identification.

Voters continue to oppose granting driver's licenses to illegal aliens by a 63 percent to 30 percent margin, according to the March 18 and 19 poll conducted by Zogby Analytics. Voters even more emphatically reject a new effort by the Legislature and Gov. Kate Brownto override the will of the people who defeated Measure 88 in 2014. That ballot measure struck down a similar law enacted by the Legislature in 2013. Today, 68.4 percent of voters believe that the Legislature "must respect the decisions made by the voters through the ballot initiative process," compared with just 18.7 percent who think the Legislature has the right to enact laws "that have been previously overturned by the voters."

"The voters have spoken. The Legislature and the governor do not like what they had to say, so they are demonstrating their contempt for the people of Oregon with a blatant attempt to overrule the outcome of a fair and democratic election," charged Cynthia Kendoll, president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR), the organization that promoted Measure 88 in 2014. "This sort of arrogance of power is the hallmark of authoritarian dictatorships, not the progressivism that Oregon likes to project to the world."

Adding to the arrogance, state leaders want HB 2015 to include an "emergency" clause, which would prevent opponents of the bill from blocking its implementation through a citizen's veto referendum. This despite the fact the bill will not be enacted until 2021. "Frankly, the voters shouldn't have to say no again. They already have – very loudly, very clearly, and not very long ago. Members of the Legislature don't have to like it. Gov. Brown doesn't have to like it. But, at the very least, they should respect the decision of the voters," said Kendoll.

The polling data includes a stark warning to elected officials in the state. A 63.5 percent majority of Oregon voters indicated that they would be "less likely" to vote for legislators who defy the will of the people on this issue, including 46.5 percent who said they would be "much less likely" to vote for such public officials. Only 11.8 percent said such action would make them more likely to vote for such legislators.

The full results of the statewide poll of Oregon voters can be found here.

Contact: Oregonians for Immigration Reform at 503.435.0141

SOURCE Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)

Driver card bill nullifies voters’ mandate

Alert date: 
March 28, 2019
Alert body: 

Outstanding statement on HB 2015, the driver licenses for illegal aliens bill 

March 27, 2019

Writing in The Oregonian, OFIR’s former vice president, Richard F LaMountain, points out:

 “In November 2014 Oregonians overwhelmingly defeated a bill that if enacted would have given an official Oregon driver license to illegal aliens.  Thirty five out of Oregon’s 36 counties voted against it.  Eighteen Oregon counties voted NO by over 80%.  A majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents voted against it.  It was defeated in all five of Oregon’s congressional districts.

“So, what does the current Oregon legislature do?  They introduce House Bill 2015 to overturn what the voters overwhelmingly said.  …”

LaMountain was a chief sponsor of 2014's Ballot Measure 88. Read his full op-ed here. It explains well the reasons why the peoples’ verdict should stand.

Oregonians, call your state senator and house member and ask them to honor citizen voters, oppose HB 2015, and vote against it.

To identify your state legislators and get phone number/email address, click here:  https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-districts.html.  After entering your address in the format requested, see the legislative address card displayed.  Senate is shown first; click on House tab to change the display.

Read the full Op-Ed.

Feds: Forgery operation produced over 10,000 fake documents

SALEM, Ore.-  Located in an apartment in a primarily Hispanic town in Oregoon, a clandestine lab churned out thousands of fake Social Security cards, drivers' licenses and immigration documents that were sold around the United States for years.

The operation, revealed for the first time Tuesday in a federal court document, showed that a syndicate based in Oaxaca, Mexico, operated the forged-document factory in Woodburn, a town of 24,000 in an agricultural region a half-hour's drive from Portland.

Employers, including farms, nurseries and wineries, routinely employ people who are in the United States illegally but who can produce a Social Security card or work visa. Many agricultural employers say it's not their responsibility - and that they lack the expertise - to determineine if the documents are genuine.

The arrest on Sept. 21, 2017, of Miguel Merecias-Lopez in a fast-food restaurant parking lot in Woodburn reveals how, in many cases, such documents are produced. Merecias-Lopez pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Portland to conspiracy to produce false identification documents and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He had gone to the parking lot to sell more than a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of meth, prosecutors said.

Homeland Security Investigations had already been looking at the syndicate they called the "Fraud Doc Ring" before the arrest, said Kevin Sonoff, spokesman for the United States Attorney's Office in Portland. After Merecias-Lopez was arrested, investigators went to his apartment and found computers, scanners, laminators, cameras and a high-resolution printer.

"The fraud ring operated in Woodburn for more than a decade and produced over 10,000 fraudulent documents that they distributed in Woodburn or mailed to customers around the United States," U.S. Attorney Billy Williams and Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Sax said in the plea agreement posted Tuesday in court documents. Previous detailed court documents remain under seal.

The Fraud Doc Ring communicated with customers using Facebook, email, Snapchat and in person, the plea deal states. Customers emailed, texted or mailed the ring digital passport-style photos for insertion into the fake ID cards, or visited a clandestine photography lab in Woodburn where their photos were taken, the plea agreement says. Customers paid electronically through PayPal, through the mail or in person.

In the apartment, agents found dozens of security images and seals used in legitimate identification documents. They also found stored digital photos of more than 4,000 customers.

The Fraud Doc Ring produced a wide array of documents, including drivers' licenses for over 25 different states, Social Security cards, lawful permanent resident cards, U.S. and Mexican birth certificates and marriage licenses.

There is a huge market for such documents. Immigrants working illegally in this country accounted for about 46 percent of America's roughly 800,000 crop farmworkers in recent years, according to an Associated Press analysis of data from the U.S. Departments of Labor and Agriculture. Many more work in the nation's hospitality, service and construction industries.

Merecias-Lopez's attorney, Brian Walker, did not immediately respond to emailed and phone messages requesting comment. Merecias-Lopez said in his petition to plead guilty that he has a 10th-grade education, and that he understands that conviction can lead to imprisonment and deportation.

Merecias-Lopez, 24, moved to Woodburn from Oaxaca in January 2017, long after the fraud ring began operating. He is responsible for creating at least 300 fraudulent U.S. government documents, according to the plea agreement.

Government prosecutors and Walker are jointly recommending a low sentence. For the false documents conviction, he faces a maximum 15 years in prison and $250,000 fine. The drug conviction carries a maximum sentence of life in prison with a 10 year mandatory minimum sentence and a $10 million fine.

Sonoff said no other arrests have been made and that the current criminal inquiry focuses only on Merecias-Lopez and his co-conspirators, not on their customers.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 18.

Tell your legislators NO driver licenses for illegal aliens! Stop HB 2015!

Alert date: 
February 28, 2019
Alert body: 

A bill giving illegal aliens Oregon driver licenses has just been introduced in the Legislature.  House Bill 2015 would give illegal aliens state-issued PHOTO ID, in the form of an official Oregon driver license.  Every reference to LEGAL presence or citizenship would be stripped from the driver license process we all go through.

We encourage everyone to call your state senator and representative and tell them to vote NO on Measure HB 2015.

It's easy to contact your Senator and Representative in Salem.  Click here to find out who your legislators are and how to reach them: http://www.oregonir.org/how-contact-oregon-state-legislators.

Oregon legislators can refer a bill directly to citizens to vote on it.  While we oppose HB 2015 on the merits, at the very least, the Oregon legislature should allow a referral vote by citizens.

Proponents call the bill the Equal Access to Roads Act.  The official title is: “Relating to documents issued by the Department of Transportation; declaring an emergency.”

Chief sponsors of HB 2015 are:  Rep. Hernandez, Alonso Leon, Sen. Manning Jr., Rep. McLain, Sen. Roblan.  Regular sponsors are:  Representative Barker, Boshart Davis, Bynum, Clem, Doherty, Evans, Fahey, Gorsek, Greenlick, Helm, Holvey, Keny-Guyer, Kotek, Lively, Marsh, Meek, Mitchell, Nathanson, Neron, Nosse, Piluso, Power, Prusak, Rayfield, Reardon, Salinas, Sanchez, Schouten, Smith G, Smith Warner, Sollman, Wilde, Williams, Williamson, Witt, Senator Beyer, Fagan, Frederick, Gelser, Wagner.

Your call or email in opposition to this bill is encouraged.  If your elected officials don't hear from you - they think you agree with their support of HB 2015.  It only takes a moment to call or email - do it today!

Background -- In 2014 Oregonians overwhelmingly defeated Measure 88 - a similar driver license bill - by a whopping two to one margin. In the 2014 election, 35 of Oregon's 36 counties voted against driver licenses for illegal aliens.  The bad bill, through a citizens Veto Referendum, was defeated in all five of Oregon's congressional districts.  A majority of Republicans, Democrats and Independents voted against issuing driver licenses to illegal aliens.

Now proponents of HB 2015 want to overrule the majority!  Don’t let them!

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