legislature

Feds say WA drivers licenses won’t be good enough for airport security

Soon, Washington residents may need a passport or other federally issued identification to board commercial flights or enter federal buildings because Washington-issued licenses won’t be acceptable.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security told the state this week that standard driver licenses and identification cards will have to comply with federal rules requiring proof of U.S. residency or citizenship in order to be valid for federal purposes, according to the Associated Press.

The Department of Homeland Security’s REAL ID program already requires states to ask for proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency for state-issued identification that would be acceptable to get into federal buildings. The same also will be required — perhaps as soon as next year — to use state-issued identification for airport security lines.

Most states do not issue drivers licenses without proof of residency or citizenship. Washington and New Mexico are the only states that issue standard driver’s licenses and identification cards regardless of U.S. residency or citizenship status. Other states, including California, issue drivers licenses to people without documentation, but the licenses and identification cards indicate that the identification card is not valid for federal purposes.

Washington had an extension to comply with the REAL ID law. But this week, the Department of Homeland Security declined to continue to Washington’s extension and gave the state three months to comply, according to the Associated Press.

Earlier this year, the Washington Department of Licensing developed a proposal that would have continued to allow undocumented immigrant drivers to get standard licenses and expanded the state’s existing Enhanced ID program. But the proposal died in the 2015 legislative session.

In 2007, the Washington state legislature passed a bill opposing the federal REAL ID mandates.


 

Missouri GOP overrides veto of scholarship ban for students brought into country illegally

JEFFERSON CITY The Missouri House voted 114-37 to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill banning the state-funded A+ Scholarship from being awarded to undocumented immigrants.

The Missouri Senate voted to override the veto earlier in the day, so the bill becomes law.

UPDATED AT 6:40 p.m.

JEFFERSON CITY The Missouri Senate voted to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill banning the state-funded A+ Scholarship from being awarded to undocumented immigrants.

The bill now moves to the House, where 108 Republicans voted in favor when the bill originally passed earlier this year. That’s one shy of a two-thirds majority, although 11 Republicans were absent and did not vote.

At issue are students who qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. It was created by President Barack Obama in 2012 to stop the deportation of children brought to the country illegally by their parents.

Because these students were brought to the U.S. as young children and are undocumented through no fault of their own, DACA allows them to legally live, work and study in the U.S. It does not, however, create a path to citizenship.

In response to the federal government’s action, the Missouri Department of Higher Education established a rule last year stating that because the students were now lawfully present in the U.S., they were eligible for the A+ Scholarship.

As long as the students have attended a Missouri high school for three years and graduated with a 2.5 GPA, a 95 percent attendance record and 50 hours of tutoring or mentoring, they qualify for the state-funded scholarship.

Supporters of the bill say it’s unfair for students who are in the country illegally to receive the scholarship when money for the program is tight.

“I am protecting the citizens and permanent residents of this state right now,” said Sen. Gary Romine, a Farmington Republican who sponsored the bill.

Opponents say these students were brought to the U.S. as young children and are in the country illegally through no fault of their own. The students in question kept their grades up, volunteered in their community and stayed out of trouble, advocates say, most while learning English as a second language.

“Why are we punishing children for a fault of their parents?” said Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, a St. Louis Democrat.

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, a University City Democrat whose district includes the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, said the Legislature’s priorities are out of whack.

”People are dying in my district every day,” she said, “and we’re arguing about who gets a scholarship?”

The House is expected to take up the bill tonight.

What will it take to stop the arrogance?

Just when we think many of those in the Oregon Legislature can't get any more arrogant - they surprise us and play the "pathetic" trump card. 

Example:  HB 4054A - a new bill designed to re-write the ballot language of the veto refernedum on SB 833.

Read OFIR President Cynthia Kendoll's guest opinion published in the Oregonian.  We encourage you to post a comment, as well.

Driver card referendum: Oregon Legislature could rewrite ballot title

SALEM -- The Oregon Legislature could rewrite the title of a contentious measure on the November ballot asking voters whether to grant driver cards to residents who can’t prove they’re in the state legally.

Legislative leaders will likely decide in the next week or so whether to take that step, said Rep. Jessica Vega Pederson, D-Portland, and other sources....

Three groups have challenged the ballot title and other parts of the measure before the Oregon Supreme Court, but legislators may try to step in before their 35-day session ends. Opponents say the Legislature shouldn’t interfere...

Cynthia Kendoll, president of Oregonians For Immigration Reform, which gathered signatures to send the issue to voters, accused lawmakers of overstepping.

“Just when it looks like we might be successful with this, these legislators are kind of pulling a desperate move to see if they can’t rewrite the rules of the game,” she said. “I don’t think the people who wrote and passed the law should be the people writing the ballot title.”...

 

Mark your calendar - Tuesday, February 25

Alert date: 
February 19, 2014
Alert body: 

Join Oregonians for Immigration Reform and Protect Oregon Driver Licenses at the Oregon State Capital as we gather to host the War Room.

If you have never heard of the War Room, if you have never spent time at the Capitol, if you are uncomfortable being in the Capitol when you are there, I encourage you to drop in and spend some time with us.

This is the place to be to learn about all things related to the Legislature. How a bill is written, moved through the Legislature, sent to Committee, debated and voted upon or killed. This session, there are no immigration bills being introduced, so it's the perfect opportunity to get comfortable being in the building and meeting and visiting with other activists that care about Oregon as much as you do.

The doors will be open from 8am – 5pm and you may arrive and depart at any time. We will be in Room 243 at the State Capitol. You can ask for directions at the kiosk in the lobby.

The parking meters are $1.50 per hour or you can purchase an all-day pass for $15.00.

Parking tickets are $30.00 so don't let your meter expire.

SPECIAL NOTE: We have arranged to meet with two of the Protect Oregon Driver Licenses Chief Petitioners so that we may thank them in person for their support of the veto referendum to overturn SB 833 – the new law granting state issued ID in the form of a driver privilege card to illegal aliens in Oregon.

If possible, plan to be there for one or both of these appointments:

Rep. Kim Thatcher - 9:45am & Rep Sal Esquivel – 12:30pm

If you know for certain you will be joining us – drop us a line. Otherwise just drop in anytime.

Had enough? Want to get involved? Learn how this Saturday!

Alert date: 
January 22, 2014
Alert body: 

SOUND AWESOME? ...IT IS! Attend the Western Liberty Network's Second Annual Leadership and Training Conference and Expo.

The event's theme is “TAKE THE OFFENSIVE!” and will start at 9:00AM on Saturday, January 25th, 2014 at the Sheraton Airport Hotel located at 8235 NW Airport Way in Portland.

You can take in a full day of training that will give you the tools you need to be a more effective activist or volunteer. Additional courses will be offered to those interested in applying or running for local public office, those interested in building their local grassroots organizations, and for veterans who want to participate more effectively in the communities they helped to protect.  Cynthia Kendoll - OFIR President and Authorized Agent for the Protect Oregon Driver Licenses successful veto referendum campaign, will be speaking about how to manage a grassroots referendum or initiative campaign. Click on the agenda link for time and location of each break out session.

Before the debate, awards will be presented to leading activists and grass roots organizations.

STOP PLAYING DEFENSE...learn how you can go on the offense to create the change we are all working toward.

On January 25th you can see the first major US Senate candidate debate of 2014 hosted by national news personality Lars Larson. You can also see presentations by candidates running for Oregon governor, and enjoy a Mexican buffet lunch prepared by an award winning restaurant.

KXL Radio, the Lars Larson Show, Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon Capitol Watch, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, I-Spy Radio, and author and entrepreneur Sam Carpenter are sponsoring the debate. The night before the conference there will be a reception at the hotel free to all registrants featuring live music and hot appetizers. This promises to be the premiere grass roots training event of the year. Registrants can submit questions to be asked during the debate and will assist in enforcing time limits. This is going to be a FUN, INFORMATIVE, and INSPIRING.

To REGISTER, click HERE or go to the www.westernlibertynetwork.org website to download a full agenda and click on the “REGISTER NOW” button when you are ready to register.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Driver's card issue now a waiting game

For a litany of volunteers, this was a week of hopes realized and hopes dashed.

On Monday, the Secretary of State’s Election Office began scrutinizing referendum petitions submitted by the group Oregonians for Immigration Reform and the paid private firm Signature Gathering Company of Oregon.

The OFIR group hopes to have collected 58,142 valid signatures to qualify Referendum No. 301 for the November 2014 ballot. It believes residents, not lawmakers, should decide whether the state should issue driver-privilege cards to individuals without DMV-required documentation, such as a birth certificate or passport. Gov. John Kitzhaber signed Senate Bill 833 in May, which authorizes the issuance of driver’s-privilege cards beginning in January.

OFIR had volunteers witness the elections staff as it started the certification process. The elections office accepted the petitions Oct. 4 and has 30 days to determine whether a representative sample validates the referendum for next year’s ballot. It is too early to know if the group has enough valid signatures, but its president, Cynthia Kendoll, believes it does because more than half of the petitions are “e-sheets,” or single-signature pages printed out by the voter, signed and then mailed back to the group.

Volunteers from other groups such as CAUSA Oregon and the Oregon Safe Roads Coalition also observed the election office staff at work. These groups had individuals on hand to ensure that the signature-vetting process was handled correctly because they hope the petition for the referendum fails to qualify for the ballot.

They had previously welcomed the governor’s signature on SB 833.

Many of these individuals don’t see the issue as a de facto immigration policy, but believe it makes the roads safer for all Oregonians.

Ron Louis, a 33-year veteran of law enforcement and retired chief of police in Hillsboro, doesn’t want to wade into the immigration debate. He doesn’t believe the driver-privilege card is an inroad to granting anyone in the country illegally the rights afforded U.S. citizens. He views the cards as a matter of public safety, and he points to their success in other states such as Maryland, New Mexico, Utah and Washington as validation for his point of view.

“It just allows anyone without the typical documentation to drive and get insurance. And it puts them through a testing process that hopefully makes them safer driver,” Louis said. “It ensures that they minimally understand rules and road signs, and I’d much rather have every driver alongside me have this education.”

 

Group delivers petitions to force vote on driver-privilege cards

Volunteers and others supporting Oregonians for Immigration Reform tried to pile seven boxes laden with signed petitions onto a hand-truck Thursday and then gave up.

They could only get four on the handled dolly, so they grabbed the remaining three boxes and headed for the fifth floor of the Oregon Public Services building because they weren’t going to give up on their mission – delivering 60,000 signatures to the Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s office one day before the deadline.

The heavy lifters included the group’s president, Cynthia Kendoll and her husband, Jerry, volunteer Jim Ludwick, Lee Vasche of the Signature Gathering Company of Oregon and Oregon Rep. Sal Esquivel, R-Medford. Their delivery, they said, was the first of two. The group expects to deliver another 10,000 to 12,000 signed petitions today, about 60 minutes before the elections division closes.

The OIR goal, Kendoll said, is to overturn a new Oregon law granting driver-privilege cards to residents without documentation. If the group does not have enough valid signatures to qualify Referendum No. 301 for the November 2014 ballot, the new law will go into effect in January.

Kendoll estimates the group will have more than 70,000 signatures to ensure it meets the state’s 58,142 valid-signature requirement. As the group exited the building, additional volunteers were still offering clipboards with petitions to passers-by on the steps of the state Capitol.

Motivating them is Oregon Senate Bill 833, which Gov. John Kitzhaber signed into law in May in front of thousands of supporters at the Capitol. The bill authorizes driver’s cards for those lacking documents to obtain a regular driver’s license. Kitzhaber said at the time that SB 833 ensured that thousands of Oregonians could drive to and from work, school, church and errands.

OIR contends, however, that the law gives driver privilege cards to people who are in the country illegally. It wants voters to decide the issue, not lawmakers.

Cynthia Kendoll said she’s confident the group will qualify the measure for the ballot. The group has had four months to collect the signatures, and used a combination of paid signature gatherers and volunteers. She’s optimistic, she said, because the group has had requests for referendum sheets from 134 Oregon cities and communities, and more than half of the petitions are what she calls “single-signer sheets”

“That means that people are going to their own computers and printing off a petition from our website, signing it and then mailing it to us,” Cynthia Kendoll said. “These carry a high validity rate.”

Summer Davis, a compliance specialist with the SOS elections division, confirmed that e-sheets, as they’re officially called, have a higher validity rate.

“Think about it: when people print out a petition, they then give it to someone they know, there is no stranger coming at them asking them to sign something. It’s true they tend to be valid more often,” Davis said.

After getting a “letter of receipt” from the elections division, the group watched as a worker locked the boxes in a cage. They were told the others will be added to the cage when they’re received, and then the elections department will have 30 days to certify the petitions. If the group meets the 58,142 signature threshold, the law will not go into effect as planned.

The certification will begin between 1 and 1:30 p.m. Monday in the building’s basement. Observers are welcome with advance notice, the group was told, to which Cynthia promptly asked, “Can I ask to attend now?”
 

Make sure your signature counts

Alert date: 
October 3, 2013
Alert body: 

There is still time to turn in your signature petition sheet and be a part of the citizen's referendum drive to get SB 833 on the ballot in 2014.

Visit the PODL website:  http://ProtectOregonDL.org and print out a single signature sheet.  Sign and date it and then hand deliver it to the Oregon State Capitol steps in Salem on Friday morning from 9:00am to noon.

If you can take your single signature sheet to this address in Tualatin today or tomorrow by noon, it might be included in the last batch of signature sheets.

The Signature Gathering Company of Oregon

18965 SW 84th Ave

Tualatin, OR

Oregon immigrant driver’s license law opponents get creative

Faced with collecting 58,000 signatures by Oct. 4, opponents of a new Oregon law that gives driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants and others who cannot prove they are living here legally are sharpening their tactics.

From a drive-through petition drive on Friday to a booth at the Oregon State Fair through Sept. 2, advocates are seeking the thousands of valid signatures needed for a referendum that would challenge a new state law that gives “driver privilege cards” to those who do not have the documents required to get a driver’s license. The driver’s card will be restricted from being used for identification or voting.

But advocates with Oregonians for Immigration Reform say the new law, which goes into effect in January, is a way for people living here illegally to get a driver’s license.

Jim Ludwick, communications director for the group, also said despite the restriction, he believes the cards will be used for identification and put into the hands of criminals.

Ludwick wouldn’t say how many signatures the group has collected so far. State law requires them to get more than 58,000 valid signatures within 90 days of the end of the legislative session (July 8) to get to referendum, which would let voters decide if the driver’s cards should be handed out, on the November 2014 ballot.

Ludwick said he’s confident they can do it.

“We have people who come see us and before I can say a word they grab the pen out of my hand and they want to sign,” he said.

State Rep. Sal Esquivel, R-Medford, is expected to make an appearance at the Oregon State Fair booth on Friday. Esquivel was a strong opponent of the legislation, Senate Bill 833, when it made its way through the Legislature.

Gov. John Kitzhaber pushed for the bill and signed it with fanfare on May Day.

Contact Shelby Sebens at Shelby@NorthwestWatchdog.org

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