driver's license

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: 
2019-06-19
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: 
2019-04-18
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: 
2019-03-28
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: 
2019-02-28
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!

'No' to Driving Privileges for Illegal Aliens

WASHINGTON - The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) marked a victory after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a district court decision to dismiss a case that sought to force the State of Oregon to grant driving privileges to illegal aliens.

IRLI had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in 2016 on behalf of its client Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR) in the case of M.S. v. Brown, in which plaintiffs looked to overturn as unconstitutional the outcome of the November 2014 general election in Oregon. Through the Oregon Constitution’s referendum veto process, Oregon voters overwhelmingly rejected, by 66%, a bill passed by the he legislature and signed by the governor that would have extended eligibility for driving privileges to unlawfully present persons. OFIR was the driving force behind the referendum veto that collected the requisite number of signatures to get the issue placed on the ballot.

The case, brought by five admitted illegal aliens and two illegal alien special interest groups, was dismissed in May 2016 when an Oregon district court ruled that the plaintiffs could not show that an order from the court could redress their complaint as the court had no power to overturn a referendum or force the state to pass legislation giving illegal aliens driving privileges. In its brief, IRLI agreed with the district court and argued further that the plaintiffs also failed to demonstrate an injury, a necessary element of standing to sue, as illegal aliens have no constitutional right to driving privileges, and, in fact, do not even possess the constitutional right to interstate travel (which citizens and legal aliens possess) as a result of their illegal presence in the U.S.

There are a number of reasons why granting driving privileges to illegal aliens is not in the interests of states or their citizens. Among them, states have a legitimate interest in limiting their finite resources to citizens and legal aliens and in not allowing their government machinery to be a facilitator for the concealment of illegal aliens. There is also a legitimate concern that persons subject to immediate or subsequent deportation will not be financially responsible for property damage or personal injury due to automobile accidents. Finally, granting driving privileges to illegal aliens harms national security because, unlike legal aliens, illegal aliens have not undergone background checks or face-to-face interviews to determine whether they pose a national security threat.

“This is a tremendous win for residents of Oregon and the American people at large,” said Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s executive director and general counsel. “Since the presence of illegal aliens in the United States is a violation of federal law, the notion that those aliens should be granted the privilege to drive and the right to travel freely throughout the country is absurd. The result of this decision will be safer communities that better serve the interests of their citizens and legal residents.” 

GREAT News - the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirms our stunning victory on Measure 88

Alert date: 
2018-09-05
Alert body: 

We just learned from our attorneys that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the lawsuit against our victory in 2014 to overturn driver cards for illegal aliens - Measure 88.
 

Five self-identified, alleged illegal aliens filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Oregon for allowing the will of Oregon voters to overturn the bill giving an official Oregon driver card to illegal aliens. The bill that Measure 88 overturned was Senate Bill 833 which had passed both chambers of the State Legislature and was signed by Governor Kitzhaber with great fanfare on the steps of the Capitol before a large crowd on May Day, May 1. 2013.
 
The vast majority of voters understood the implications of giving an official state-issued, photo ID, in the form of a driver card to individuals who could not prove they are legally in the country, and they DEFEATED Measure 88, expressing their disapproval of Senate Bill 833.
 
For the record, Measure 88 was defeated by 66 percent of Oregon voters. Close to one million Oregonians voted against driver cards. Thirty-five of Oregon’s 36 counties voted it down. Eighteen counties voted by over 80 percent against it. Measure 88 lost in all five of Oregon’s congressional districts. A majority of Oregon Democrats, Republicans and independents voted against issuing driver cards to illegal aliens.
 
Our opponents outspent us roughly ten to one. One Hollywood TV star, gave a $50,000 donation to the pro driver card measure, almost as much money as our campaign had in total.
 
Measure 88 was debated in public forums, in newspapers, on the radio, in the voter’s pamphlet, and on TV. Voters had a clear understanding of the issue.  It’s not often we praise the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - but, this time they deserve iit!
 
Measure 88 was a Referendum calling for a no vote to rid citizens of a bad bill that had passed the Legislature but had not yet been put into effect. 

Measure 105 is an Initiative which must have a YES vote to REPEAL a bad law that’s been on the books for years.
 
Let’s make it two victories in a row.  Let’s overturn Oregon’s sanctuary law - Vote YES on Measure 105.  Talk to your friends, neighbors, relatives and fellow citizens - ask them to Vote YES on Measure 105, too!
 
YES on Measure 105 Lawn and field signs will be available this weekend - go to
and order YOUR signs today!

EXCLUSIVE: DRIVER WHO ALLEGEDLY KILLED OREGON COUPLE IN DUI CRASH IS ILLEGAL ALIEN, ICE SAYS

The man suspected of killing an Oregon couple in a high-speed drunk driving collision earlier in August is an illegal immigrant from Mexico, The Daily Caller News Foundation learned.

Eduardo de la Lima Vargas, 39, allegedly ran a red light on a state highway in Salem, Oregon, on Aug. 19, striking a motorcycle being driven by Logan Wilson, 34, and his wife Jessi, 32. The collision tossed the Wilsons from the motorcycle, fatally injuring both.

Vargas blew a .10 blood alcohol level on a breathalyzer roughly two hours after the crash, according to a Salem police report. Investigators believe he was probably driving at twice the legal alcohol limit at the time he crashed into the Wilsons, who are survived by four young children. (RELATED: Suspect In DUI Killing Of Colts Player Is Twice-Deported Illegal Immigrant)

Following the wreck, Vargas was booked into the Marion County jail on two counts of manslaughter, as well as one count each of reckless endangering, reckless driving and driving under the influence. He remains in state custody on a $500,000 bond.

Additionally, Vargas is now the subject of a federal immigration detention request. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed the detainer Aug. 24 in a statement to Salem-based crime researcher David Olen Cross, who shared it Thursday with TheDCNF.

“On August 23, 2018, ICE deportation officers lodged an immigration detainer with the Marion County Jail on Eduardo De la Lima Vargas, following his arrest for DUI resulting in death,” agency spokesperson Lori Haley said in a statement, according to Cross. “Mr. De la Lima Vargas is a citizen of Mexico illegally residing in the United States.”

Cross inquired about Vargas’s immigration status as a part of his research into criminal activity by noncitizens in Oregon. On behalf of Republican state Sen. Kim Thatcher, he creates monthly reports using data from ICE and the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) in order to document the cost of incarcerating foreign nationals in the state prison system, where one in 15 inmates is a criminal alien.

Cross’s research has shown that about three-quarters of all criminal aliens in Oregon’s prison system are serving time for what the FBI defines as violent crimes — murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault — or sex crimes under the Oregon criminal code.

Of the 943 Oregon state prison inmates with active ICE detainers as of July, 731 — 77 percent — have been convicted of those violent crimes or sex offenses, according to Cross’s latest report. That compares to about 60 percent of “domestic” inmates who were convicted of the same offenses. (RELATED: Suspected Oregon Nail Gun Attacker Is Previously Deported Illegal Alien From Mexico)

Oregon is one of the nation’s most active states when it comes to limiting cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. It has had a sanctuary law on the books since 1987 that prohibits state and local law enforcement resources from being used to enforce federal immigration law. Oregon expanded its sanctuary protections in 2017 with a law that forbids schools, courts and other public agencies from sharing information with immigration authorities unless required to do so by federal law.

The move to strengthen protections for illegal immigrants easily passed Oregon’s Democratic-controlled legislature, but it was also met with pushback from Republican lawmakers and grassroots conservative groups. A ballot initiative to overturn Oregon’s sanctuary state law garnered more than 97,000 signatures in July, well above the 88,000 needed to qualify for the Nov. 6 general election.

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