drunk driving

Rep. Thatcher speaks out against SB833

Representative Kim Thatcher, a Chief Petitioner for the referendum campaign against SB833 expressed her concerns about the bill in a just published Guest Opinion.
 

Eenee, Meenee, Mynee, Mo - how Oregon enforces the law

In a recent letter in the Albany Democrat Herald, Steve Lundeberg suggests that there is nothing that can be done about all the illegal aliens residing in our state. He goes so far to suggest that the right thing to do is to provide driver privilege cards so that illegal aliens can get to their jobs and live their lives with less worry.  Isn't that nice.

“The driver’s cards will improve traffic safety and *reduce the number of uninsured motorists on Oregon's roads,” Basic Rights Oregon’s press release said, and that prediction would seem to be a well-reasoned one. 

     *The uninsured driver/unlicensed driver rate has not changed since the 2008 Driver license bill went into effect? 

That’s why SB 833 is a good idea. The main thing it does, contrary to those who fixate on the notion that it *provides a reward for breaking the law, is strive to make all Oregonians’ lives both safer and less costly.

     *SB833 does provide a reward for illegal behavior...a state issued identification in the form of a driver privilege card and the "privilege" to be able to drive to their jobs.  Which brings me to my next point.

The Governor said that illegal aliens need driver privilege cards so they can drive to their jobs, take their kids to the doctor and contribute to Oregon's economic recovery.  

     *The Governor neglected to mention the ONE BILLION dollar price tag to Oregon tax payers for services to illegal aliens.  It's also never mentioned that it's against the law for illegal aliens to work in our state and for businesses to hire them.  The Governor is giving them all a green light, while he simultaneously kicks the 167,000 unemployed Oregonians in the teeth.

There are only a handful of states giving driver licenses to people in the country illegally.  It makes sense that by Oregon doing so, we could actually attract even more illegal aliens to our state.  New Mexico estimated they would issue about 45,000 licenses to illegal aliens, but issued over 80,000 due to fraud.  Is this what we want for Oregon?  If you did your research, you would find that the states that have implemented similar legislation have repealed it or are looking at doing so due to rampant fraud.

In closing, I would suggest that there are multiple things the State of Oregon could do, if they were so inclined, rather than issue driver privilege cards:

OFIR has written several bills for consideration in the Oregon Legislature:

E-Verify is a free, accurate, easy to use program to help employers hire a legal workforce.  Bills mandating the use of E-Verify for both State employers and private employers have never had a hearing.  What kind of business model are we building for Oregon if an illegal workforce has the blessing of the Governor?  Where is BOLI Commissioner Brad Avakian? 

A bill to reduce fraud by requiring proof of citizenship to access services has never been assigned to a committee.

A bill requiring county governments to apply for SCAAP funding to be reimbursed for the millions spent on incarceration costs of illegal aliens is ignored.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.

If the Governor and the Legislature wanted to stem the flood of illegal aliens into the state, there are many things they could do, but they choose not to.  It's clear that the Ag, Farm and restaurant businesses have the Oregon Legislature in their control. Those business owners get the benefit of cheap labor, the politicians slobber for their votes and the Oregon citizen and tax payer gets the bill!  How cozy!

OFIR will work to gather the necessary signatures to put this important issue on the ballot.  If Oregon's citizens think it's a good idea, then it will pass.  More likely, when citizens learn what the Governor and the majority of Legislators are up to, they will overturn the law.

The Federal government, in regards to illegal immigration, may have left the doors open, but Oregon is putting out the welcome mat.

 


 

Please send your personal thanks

Alert date: 
2013-04-30
Alert body: 

For years OFIR has worked tirelessly to secure Oregon driver licenses by insisting they be issued only to those whom could prove their legal presence in the US.  In 2008 the Oregon Legislature, which, at that time, was dominated by Democrats on both sides of the aisle, passed the current driver license bill with overwhelming support from both sides.  Then Governor Kulongowski had the wisdom to protect Oregonians and the bill was signed into law.

Fast forward five years and witness great legislation passed by a Democrat majority then, unwound by a Democrat majority now, in the name of "public safety".

There were 20 Republicans that stood strong under immense pressure from the bills proponents.  They didn't buy into the line that illegal aliens needed drivers licenses so they could buy car insurance.  They had the insight to see what this bill was really all about and had the courage and the strength to vote NO today.

Please call or email them and thank them for being true Representatives of the people of Oregon.  The Legislators that voted for the bill need to hear from you, as well.

SB833 bill was carried by Jenson and Harker.

Passed.Ayes, 38

Nays (voted no), 20--Bentz, Berger, Cameron, Conger, Esquivel, Freeman, Hicks, Huffman, Kennemer, Krieger, McLane, Olson, Parrish, Richardson, Sprenger, Thatcher, Thompson, Weidner, Whisnant, Whitsett;

Excused, 2--Hanna, Lively.

Bill allowing four-year driver's cards passes Oregon House

Thousands of Oregonians will be allowed to drive with four-year driver’s cards, instead of regular eight-year licenses, under a bill that won final legislative approval today.

The House voted 38-20 to pass Senate Bill 833, which goes to Gov. John Kitzhaber for his signature at a May Day rally Wednesday on the Capitol steps. The bill would take effect Jan. 1, 2014.

A similar bill two years ago failed to advance in the Legislature.

This time, however, it was backed by Kitzhaber and major business groups such as Associated Oregon Industries, Oregon Business Association, Associated General Contractors, Oregon Association of Nurseries, Oregon Farm Bureau Federation, Oregon Home Builders Association, Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association, and Oregon Winegrowers Association.

“All Oregonians, regardless of the documents they have, need the ability to participate in the local economy,” said Rep. Chris Harker, D-Beaverton, co-floor manager. “This bill will give them a chance to prove they can drive, get licenses and obtain insurance.”

It also was a major priority of immigrant-rights groups, along with in-state tuition for immigrant students whose parents brought them to the United States illegally as children. Kitzhaber signed that bill on April 2.

“The bill for a driver’s card is equally important,” Kitzhaber said in a recent interview.

But Rep. Dennis Richardson, R-Central Point, said that holders of such cards may find it harder to get jobs, contrary to the intent of some of the bill’s advocates.

“For all practical purposes, this bill is dealing with those who cannot prove they are in the United States or Oregon legally,” Richardson said.

“You have to wonder that if someone is willing to disregard immigration law, what other laws are they willing to disregard?” asked Rep. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer.

Rep. Vic Gilliam of Silverton was one of the few Republicans to speak for the bill.

“I think it’s a small step forward in facing reality,” Gilliam said. “Can’t we give some hard-working Oregonians a second chance?”


 

Keep calling - SB833 vote pushed to Tuesday

Alert date: 
2013-04-29
Alert body: 

It's difficult to believe that our Oregon Legislature is on the precipice of passing Legislation that will roll back the tough requirements of the 2008 driver license. WHY?

Many Legislators think that by allowing illegal aliens to again get driver privilege cards they are helping...wait...helping who?  They are helping illegal aliens, of course!  Helping them to get back and forth to their...wait...jobs...it is still illegal for them to work in the US, isn't it?

Those Legislators that support this bill clearly have NO respect for the rule of law, for Oregon's unemployed or for the hundreds of victims of illegal alien crime.

The Federal government may have left the front door open, but Oregon is throwing down the welcome mat!  WHY?  The speculation of that question gives me a headache.

Keep calling and tell your Representative to VOTE NO on Senate Bill 833.  Call, call and call again.  Then, email them, too!

 


 

Town Hall with Senator Diane Rosenbaum and Representative Jules Bailey

Alert date: 
2013-04-26
Alert body: 
Diane Rosenbaum and Representative Bailey will be holding a district town hall on Saturday, May 4th from 10:30-Noon at the AFL-CIO Office. They want to hear about the issues that matter the most to you and look forward to providing an update on the issues we have been working on in Salem.
 
When: Saturday, May 4th, 2013
10:30am-Noon
 
Where: Oregon AFL-CIO Building
3645 SE 32nd Ave
Portland 97202
(32nd and SE Powell - Ample parking on site)
 
Please...plan to attend and ask why the Oregon Legislature has not heard a single bill that would discourage even more illegal immigration into Oregon (mandatory E-Verify, workplace enforcement, proof of citizenship to access entitlement programs etc. and yet work feverishly to pass Legislation that makes it easier for illegal aliens to be here.

A voice of reason at the Oregon Capitol

Rep. Kim Thatcher from Keizer, OR expresses her disapproval of SB833, which would grant driver privilege cards to people in our country illegally.

Read her just published Guest Opinion.
 

Oregon Senate approves ‘driver card’ for immigrants

SALEM — After a three-­minute floor discussion that conveyed none of the often-virulent opposition to the policy, the Oregon Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that would create a new short-term driver’s license, or “driver card,” for illegal immigrants.

Senate Bill 833 passed on a 20-7 vote, with six GOP senators joining 14 Democrats in support. The seven “no” votes came from Republicans but — somewhat unusual for such a high-profile issue — none of them took the floor to explain their opposition. Three lawmakers were excused.

The bill now heads directly to the House floor.

Sen. Lee Beyer, a Springfield Democrat, said SB 833 would allow Oregon to return to a “realistic position” on the driver’s license issue.

No proof of legal residence was required in order to obtain an Oregon driver’s license until 2008, when the state instituted the restriction. Since then, critics of the proof-of-legal-residence requirement have argued that, until the federal government deals comprehensively with changing immigration law, it makes no sense to bar illegal immigrants who live and work in Oregon from getting a license.

Without a license, they can’t buy car insurance. As a result, lawmakers say, many illegal residents drive without insurance.

“This is purely about driver safety ... (so) that we know that our fellow drivers know what they’re doing and, if they have an accident, there’s insurance,” Beyer said Tuesday.

Sen. Chuck Thomsen, a Hood River Republican who co-sponsored SB 833, said that the bill “is not a perfect solution.”

“But in light of the federal government’s inactivity on this subject, it is needed as a stop-gap measure,” he said.

Under SB 833, four-year driver cards could be granted to individuals who can provide proof of identity and of at least one year of Oregon residency. Regular state licenses last eight years.

The new type of licenses would be slightly more expensive than typical Class C licenses, at $64 with a $44 renewal fee. No commercial license would be similarly made available.

The bill states that the driver cards couldn’t be used as identification for non-driving purposes.

If SB 833 becomes law and goes into effect next January, an estimated 110,000 people will obtain driver cards in the program’s first 18 months, generating $5.3 million in new revenue for the state, according to calculations by nonpartisan legislative staff.

After that initial surge, new transactions — both new cards and renewals — are expected to drop to about 41,000 every two years.

To deal with the increased transactions, the Department of Motor Vehicles expects to hire 6 full-time employees and 58 temporary employees statewide, at a cost to the state of $4.7 million for the first 18 months.

As with a new law approved this year that will allow some young illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at Oregon’s public universities, the success of SB 833 appears to indicate a key shift in Oregon’s political landscape.

In addition to traditional support from immigrant rights’ groups, both concepts have garnered more visible backing from business and labor organizations this year, while opposition from some Republican lawmakers has softened.

After Tuesday’s short Senate debate, Cynthia Kendoll, president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, which opposes both policies, said she was “stymied” and “disappointed” that opponents to SB 833 didn’t speak up.

Advocates for illegal immigrants living in this country are “well-organized, well-funded and apparently they’re guiding our legislators to vote” for a bill “that is full of holes,” she said.

In particular, she said, the legislation doesn’t provide enough direction to the Department of Motor Vehicles on how to make the driver cards look different from typical Oregon licenses as the bill requires.

That means lawmakers’ assurances that driver cards won’t be used for other identification purposes will fall flat, she said.

“Republican politicians are being lied to by Democrats, who say, ‘Unless you bow to the demands of Hispanic voters, you’ll continue to lose,’” she said. “But Democrats will ultimately take all the credit for these bills.”

Luis Guerra, a spokesman for Causa Oregon, a primarily Latino immigrant rights group, disagreed with Kendoll’s assessment. The main reason for the success of both SB 833 and the in-state tuition law, he said, was the broad coalitions of stakeholders backing each policy.

“All those voices together make a stronger case than just Causa,” he said.

Guerra acknowledged that politicians have been more open to working with Causa and similar advocacy groups following the 2012 election, but he said that both parties “have stepped up their outreach to communities of color.”

“It’s been a while since we’ve seen this much success at once,” he said.

Keizer man arrested in DUII crash identified, has ICE hold

The man who allegedly caused a power outage for more than 1,000 Pacific Power users after he crashed into a light pole south of Aumsville Saturday night has been identified by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

Juan Carlos Bravo-Fernandez, 24, of Keizer, was arrested on DUII charges and criminal mischief. His bail on those charges was set at $15,000 but because he has an ICE hold, he will not be released on bail, said Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Don Thomson.

Bravo-Fernandez is scheduled to appear in Marion County Court at 3 p.m. today.

The Sheriff’s Office received a report about the crash at Shaff and West Stayton roads SE just before 11 p.m. Saturday.

Officials said the driver hit a sign giving directions to Aumsville and Stayton before crashing into the power pole.

Most customers reportedly had their power back by 8:30 a.m. Sunday, and the rest were restored a few hours later.

 

Crime tracker speaks out about the sad reality of SB833

The Oregon Legislature is in a rush to pass Legislation granting driver licenses to illegal aliens in the name of public safety.  David Cross explains just a few of the tragic results of that rationale.  Read his moving guest opinion here.  Then call all of your Legislators before the final vote on Tuesday.  Go here:  http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/home.htm to find out who your Legislators are, if you aren't sure.

Oregon's citizens and legal residents have, unfortunately, become the collateral damage in the Legislatures rush to heap ever more benefits on those in our country illegally.  It's shameful and will, I fear, end tragically for many more Oregonians.

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