drunk driving

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.

Driver’s license bill likely to prevail

SALEM — At the urging of immigrant rights groups, several significant business associations and Gov. John Kitzhaber, lawmakers appear likely to approve a bipartisan bill this session that would create a new short-term driving license for illegal immigrants.

Proponents believe the concept is grounded in realism, allowing a population that already lives and works in Oregon to drive legally and with insurance, until various immigration-related issues are comprehensively addressed at the federal level.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of Oregonians who have a visceral conviction that the policy gives an unwarranted benefit to lawbreakers, encouraging more illegal immigrants to come to the state, and without necessarily making the state’s roads any safer. Those conflicting viewpoints were expressed in full voice at a heavily attended first public hearing Thursday on Senate Bill 833. Although public testimony was limited to two minutes per person, many who had signed up to testify were unable to do so at the two-hour hearing, while those watching the proceedings spilled into at least three overflow rooms.

Mariana Alvarez Flores of Salem said she had taken the day off from her job as a farm laborer to testify to the committee in favor of the bill.

“I don’t like driving without a license, but right now I have no other option,” she said through a translator.

Conversely, Cynthia Kendoll, the president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, said the proposal “is wrong on every level.”

“Just because you can pass a bill, doesn’t mean you should,” she said.

Under SB 833, four-year licenses — rather than the eight-year licenses possessed by most Oregon drivers — could be granted to individuals who can provide proof of identity and at least one year of Oregon residency.

The new type of licenses would be slightly more expensive than typical Class C licenses, at $74 with a $54 renewal fee after four years, although several amendments are being considered that would lower the amounts.

No commercial license would be similarly made available.

Sen. Chuck Thomsen, a Hood River Republican who is co-sponsoring the bill, noted that the licenses, or “driving cards” as they may ultimately be named, wouldn’t allow a holder to register to vote, or to purchase a gun. They also couldn’t be used as a legal form of identification for miscellaneous non-driving purposes, as typical licenses can be, he added.

“This is a very important piece of legislation that affects a lot of ... good people and their families who live here in Oregon,” he said.

Rep. Kim Thatcher, a Keizer Republican, was one of several who testified who cited examples of vehicle accidents involving illegal immigrants.

“I tell you this story not because I think all people without (citizenship) documents are driving around drunk,” she said. But “this is an illustration of what can happen when we issue licenses to people who shouldn’t have them to begin with.”

No further public hearings on the proposal are expected in the Senate. The bill has been scheduled for a work session on Monday, where it could be amended and voted to the chamber floor.

Debate on immigrant licenses gets personal

A two-hour debate Thursday on issuing state driver’s licenses without proof of legal presence got personal for both sides.

Mariana Alvarez Flores, a Salem farm worker and mother of three, told lawmakers in Spanish through a translator she doesn’t like driving without a license but she currently has no other option.

“In my case, I’m unable to take my children safely to their doctor’s appointments, to school and to the babysitter,” she told lawmakers during a public hearing.

By getting a short-term license, under Senate Bill 833, supporters argued it would create safer roads because these drivers would be required to go through training and purchase automobile insurance.

Some Salem residents and lawmakers disagreed, arguing that the bill only condones illegal behavior and would make the state a magnet for illegal immigrants while doing nothing to increase public safety.

Rep. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer, shared the story of Craig and Judy Cox, who were hit twice by drunken drivers she said were here illegally. Judy Cox died in the second accident while traveling with her husband between St. Paul and Newburg in 2007.

“I tell you this story not because I think all people without documents are driving around drunk,” Thatcher said. “But I tell you this story because this is an illustration of what can happen when we issue licenses to people who shouldn’t have them.”

While opponents geared the debate toward immigration, proponents — including the Oregon Farm Bureau, the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association, the Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs and immigration groups — said the bill is merely a matter of public safety.

Applicants would still need to pass the written and driving-skills test and prove their identity, date of birth and residency in Oregon for one year, under Senate Bill 833.

The license, which cannot be used for identification, would last four years.

Sybil Hebb, the director of legislative advocacy of the Oregon Law Center, said the bill would help break down the barriers to poverty by helping low-income people get to work safely.

Victims of domestic violence and the homeless are among people who may not have proof of legal presence, she noted.

Proof of legal presence was required under a 2008 law, which lawmakers passed to comply with the requirements of the federal Real ID Act. The act does allow states to issue other licenses clearly marked as invalid for federal identification purposes.

Other states such as Washington and New Mexico currently issue licenses without proof of legal presence.

The driver’s license bill is not the only legislation that has pitted immigration-rights groups against immigration critics this session. Gov. John Kitzhaber signed into law in April a bill that would allow in-state tuition for students whose parents came to the United States illegally.

Dozens of people signed up to testify on the bill Thursday and the Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee said after the hearing he’s not sure yet if there will be enough votes to move the legislation to the floor.

“I haven’t polled the committee so I have no knowledge of that. We have a few amendments that we need to discuss and see what’s there,” said Sen. Lee Beyer, D-Eugene.

After the hearing, hundreds of immigration advocates from Causa Oregon gathered outside the Capitol.

“Sí, se puede,” they chanted as they pumped their fists in the air.

Translation: Yes, We Can.

Reporter Peter Wong contributed to this report.

Oregon is heading toward failure

Oregon is at risk of demise. What was once a beautiful state full of promise and potential, has become a magnet for foreign nationals that want the option to pick and choose which laws to obey and which to ignore. When our lawmakers and those who benefit from their presence, plot and scheme to advance the agenda of people in our country illegally then our state is doomed. Law abiding, tax paying citizens will take a back seat to rallying mobs of illegal aliens demanding their rights.

I am a lifelong Oregonian and I fear for the future of my state. The culture of corruption that is ruining our neighbors to the south is now making its way to the steps of our Capitol.  The rule of law is what defines a civil society.  Oregon is moving away from that and moving toward failure.  What a shame.

OFIR VP, Rick LaMountain, wrote a thoughtful article about the choices our Legislature is facing.


 

Thursday, April 11 @3:00pm - Say NO to driver licenses for illegal aliens

Alert date: 
April 4, 2013
Alert body: 

April 3, 2013 

OFIR members and supporters:

The bill to give illegal aliens a driver license has been unveiled.  

Senate Bill 833. 

Governor Kitzhaber created a pro-illegal group that met behind closed doors and their task was to create a driver license for illegal aliens.  OFIR filed four separate Freedom of Information requests to find out where this secret cabal was meeting and who was attending.  All four of our requests were denied by state agencies.  Now we can see why. 

When you as a citizen go into the DMV to renew your Oregon driver license you will have to prove that you are legally in the United States.  You will have to provide your Social Security number, a real birth certificate or valid passport and proof that you live in Oregon.  All an illegal alien would have to get a special license is to show a Mexican Matricular card and proof that they live in Oregon.  Maybe an Oregon Trail Card will suffice.  

The most important document a Mexican drug cartel dealer might possess is a valid state driver license.  It would enable to them to drive up and down I-5 and sell their drugs. If a state trooper happened to pull them over for a traffic violation, the drug dealer could produce his special Oregon license and the state trooper wouldn’t have probable cause to search his vehicle. 

Oregon ranks fourth in the nation in per capita illicit drug use.  Last year 240 people died of drug over dose, up 20% from the previous year.  More people died in 2011 of drug overdose than were killed (208) driving a car in Oregon.  And now the governor wants to give a special driver license to illegal aliens.  Welcome drug dealers! 

Governor Kitzhaber, (503) 378-3111 ought to hear from you as well as the sponsors of the bill. 

Among the 8 co-signers on the bill:

 

Rep. Vic Gilliam (R-Silverton) (503) 986-1410 Rep.VicGilliam@state.or.us

Rep. Mark Johnson (R-Hood River) (503) 986-1452 Rep.MarkJohnson@state.or.us

Sen. Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay) (503) 986-1705 Sen.ArnieRoblan@state.or.us

Sen. Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River)  (503) 986-1726  Sen.ChuckThompsen@state.or.us

Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena) (503) 986-1729 Sen.BillHansell@state.or.us

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

OregonLive.com
Undocumented residents could obtain 4-year driver's licenses under Oregon Senate bill

By Yuxing Zheng, The Oregonian, April 02, 2013

http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/04/undocumented_residents_could_o.html

 

Gov't acknowledges thousands released from jails

The Obama administration reversed itself Thursday, acknowledging to Congress that it had, in fact, released more than 2,000 illegal immigrants from immigration jails due to budget constraints during three weeks in February.

The director of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, John Morton, said his agency had released 2,228 illegal immigrants during that period for what he called "solely budgetary reasons." The figure was significantly higher than the "few hundred" immigrants the Obama administration had publicly acknowledged were released under the budget-savings process. He testified during a hearing by a House appropriations subcommittee.

Morton told lawmakers Thursday that the decision to release the immigrants was not discussed in advance with political appointees, including those in the White House or Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. He said the pending automatic cuts known as sequestration was "driving in the background."

"We were trying to live within the budget that Congress had provided us," Morton told lawmakers. "This was not a White House call. I take full responsibility."

The Associated Press, citing internal budget documents, reported exclusively on March 1 that the administration had released more than 2,000 illegal immigrants since Feb. 15 and planned to release 3,000 more in March due to looming budget cuts, but Napolitano said days later that the AP's report was "not really accurate" and that the story had developed "its own mythology."

"Several hundred are related to sequester, but it wasn't thousands," Napolitano said March 4 at a Politico-sponsored event.

On March 5, the House Judiciary Committee publicly released an internal ICE document that it said described the agency's plans to release thousands of illegal immigrants before March 31. The document was among those reviewed by the AP for its story days earlier.

The immigrants who were released still eventually face deportation and are required to appear for upcoming court hearings. But they are no longer confined in immigration jails, where advocacy experts say they cost about $164 per day per person. Immigrants who are granted supervised release _ with conditions that can include mandatory check-ins, home visits and GPS devices _ cost the government from 30 cents to $14 a day, according to the National Immigration Forum, a group that advocates on behalf of immigrants.

Morton said Thursday that among the immigrants released were 10 people considered the highest level of offender. Morton said that although that category of offender can include people convicted of aggravated felonies, many of the people released were facing financial crimes. Four of the most serious offenders have been put back in detention. Other people released include immigrants who had faced multiple drunken driving offenses, misdemeanor crimes and traffic offenses, Morton said.

After the administration challenged the AP's reporting, ICE said it didn't know how many people had been released for budget reasons but would review its records.

Fatal Traffic Crash - Highway 22W south of Highway 18

Clifford Fagaly, 69, of Silverton, was pronounced dead at the scene on Highway 22 south of Highway 18. His wife Kerttu Fagaly , 85, of Silverton, was critically injured and taken to Salem Hospital.

Lt. Gregg Hastings, a spokesman for the Oregon State Police, said the crash happened about 6:30 p.m. Saturday in heavy fog and icy conditions, when a westbound 2003 Ford van crossed the center line and collided with a 2000 Toyota four-door being driven by Clifford Fagaly, which was traveling east. The Toyota came to rest in a ditch and the van stopped in the westbound lane, where it was hit by a westbound 2012 Dodge pickup and skidded off the highway into a ditch.

The driver of the van, Marcos Antonio Luz, 41, of Woodburn, was taken to Salem hospital with serious injuries. Authorities say alcohol may have been a contributing factor for Luz.

The driver of the pickup, Lonny Bryant, 51, and passenger Ruthann Bryant, 49, both of Willamina, were taken to Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville for minor injuries.

Seatbelt use information was not available. The highway was closed in both directions for several hours as a result of the crash.

The OSP is investigating the crash.

 MARCOS ANTONIO LUZ - ICE HOLD

Man sentenced in 1995 fatal crash

A man sought for 17 years as the driver in a 1995 fatal car crash in Marion County was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison.Jose Luis Sanchez, 38, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and driving under the influence of intoxicants. Marion County Circuit Judge Gregory Foote sentenced Sanchez to 10 years in an Oregon Department of Corrections prison, one year in the Marion County jail and three years of post-prison supervision.

Sanchez was returned to Oregon in December, almost a year after being arrested on federal charges for illegally entering the United States from Mexico, according to the Marion County District Attorney’s Office. Since being taken into custody in Arizona, Sanchez was held in federal custody and pleaded guilty to federal charges, officials said.

The crash Sanchez was involved in occurred at 1:20 a.m. Aug. 7, 1995, six miles west of Idanha. The car Sanchez was driving went around a curve too quickly and hit several trees, according to the Oregon State Police.

A passenger, Jesus Gonzalez-Sanchez, 22, was pronounced dead at the scene. Sanchez, who was 21 at the time, was seriously injured and taken to a Portland-area hospital. Both men lived in Prineville at the time of the crash.
 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - drunk driving