Oregon Legislature

OFIR meeting this Sat., May 7 at 2:00pm

Alert date: 
2016-05-06
Alert body: 

OFIR is proud to invite you to our next OFIR membership meeting Saturday, May 7th at 2:00pm at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn across from Costco in Salem, OR.

Our featured speaker will be Republican candidate for Oregon's next Governor - Dr. Bud Pierce. Learn more about his immigration policies. Decide for yourself who would make the best Oregon governor!

Whether you're a political news junkie, or you would rather just hear the high points during campaign season, you simply must pay attention to this election - our future hangs in the balance. While we are fairly certain our OFIR members are regular voting participants, we can't express enough what a pivotal election this will be. It's been a long time since Oregon voters have played much of a role in the Presidential election. It appears that this year we just might! While OFIR is a non-partisan, single-issue organization, the importance of the upcoming election cannot be overstated.

People vote for candidates based on many factors. OFIR focuses on a candidates IMMIGRATION policies only. Visit our website to learn more about other races: http://www.oregonir.org/immigration-topics/elections

The 2016 Primary election is Tuesday, May 17th.  If you're unsure about your voter registration, it's advisable to check it soon. You can do that online here.

OFIR welcomes all candidates running for any office to attend our meeting. If there is time at the end of the meeting, candidates will be given the opportunity to speak for 2 minutes. Please introduce yourself upon arrival!

Please invite a friend and come to our next OFIR membership meeting Saturday, May 7th at 2:00pm at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn across from Costco in Salem.
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Driving directions to Best Western Mill Creek Inn:

From I-5, take exit 253, which is the intersection of I-5 and State roads 22 and Business 99E. Go West on 22 (Mission St.) a short distance to Hawthorne Ave. (Costco will be on your right), Turn R on Hawthorne Ave. to the first left, which is Ryan Drive. Turn left on Ryan Drive, by Denny’s Restaurant, and proceed to Mill Creek Inn just beyond.
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Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."-- - Barbara Jordan, Chair, U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, testimony to Congress, February 24, 1995.

OFIR VP calls on citizens to help stop "emergency clause" abuse

OFIR Vice President Richard LaMountain, in a recent letter in the Beaverton Valley Times, urges citizens to sign an initiative petition that would put a measure on the ballot to end the overuse and downright abuse of the "emergency clause". 

Used most frequently to stop citizen's from overturning, via a citizen's veto referendum, legislation they feel is harmful to the state, the "emergency clause" has now become the norm in ramming through controversial legislation.

Learn more at:   nofakeemergencies.com


 

Former state Rep. Jim Thompson files to run as an Independent

SALEM — Jim Thompson, a former Republican state representative, has filed to run for his old seat as an Independent Party of Oregon candidate.

Thompson served three terms in the house before losing to incumbent Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Dallas, in the 2014 primary....

Nearman positioned himself to the right of Thompson in the 2014 race. This year, he's sponsoring ballot measures to stop illegal immigration by requiring employers to use the federal E-Verify program and making people provide proof of citizenship when they register to vote.

Nearman is facing a Republican primary challenge...

Rep. Vic Gilliam gets it wrong - again!

Representative Vic Gilliam, who spear-headed the failed attempt to put driver licenses in the hands of people in our country illegally, is at it again.

Flagrant remarks about the intentions of a well respected grassroots organization, of which I am President, is a thinly veiled attempt to discredit the work we have done and the intentions of our group going forward. 

In fact, he goes so far as to imply that OFIR is racist for wanting our immigration laws enforced and to have the needs of American citizens come first.

Rep. Gilliam, an elected official sworn to uphold the laws of this country, seems to think it's better to embrace the needs of those that willingly disregard our laws by coming here illegally, working here illegally and often using a stolen identity or social security number to do so, whose children overwhelm our schools, who often steal jobs away from low skill, entry level, legal workers (especially minorites), whose cars overwhelm our roads and whose increasing numbers threaten our natural environment. 

Rep. Gilliam stated, "Largely as a result of a failed federal immigration policy, we have undocumented workers in our state who are proven hard-working citizens and trusted friends."  Undocumented workers are now citizens according to Gilliam?   Gilliam is a State Representative?  At one time we used to be a nation that respected the “rule of law.”

I've got news for you Vic, our immigration policy is not failed - it's simply not enforced!  Elected officials like you have compounded the problems.  I don't blame those that take advantage of our lack of enforcement - I blame our elected officials that pick and choose which laws to enforce and which laws are not as convenient for them and their deep pocketed donors.

Once again, I think you're on the wrong side of the issue.  Clearly, you ignored your constituents thoughts on the issue  regarding driver licenses for illegal aliens when 18,282 of your constituents voted NO and only 5,571 voted YES.

You are elected to protect and serve your constituents, not foreign nationals illegally present in our country.

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Immigration reform, not discrimination, is needed

By:
Vic Gilliam
Woodburn Independent
2016-01-27

 

A simplistic view of immigration can be tempting given decades of federal mismanagement of our borders as well as grave concerns for our safety in light of growing international terrorism.

Some essentially declare in frustration: “Let’s seal our borders, force everyone to speak English and round up the ‘illegals’ and ship ‘em home!”

Racism is an evil human tendency, which I must resist. It can be as blatant as slavery. It can also creep up on a society or into one’s heart under the cover of fear.

Fellow lawmakers, some of whom I know well and respect, have announced their intention to promote so called “immigration reform” policies. I disagree with their approach and will vigorously oppose their efforts.

Taking the failures of this White House (and several previous ones) out on our neighbors and friends in Oregon is hardly the way to fix a global problem. I agree, we have an American culture and traditions that are memorable and worthy of respect. Hallmarks range from the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor, to Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. From Mark Hatfield’s success in restoring every Oregon Native-American tribe’s rights, to Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream,” we cherish landmarks in this great American melting pot.

Vigorous debate is fundamental to our republic. I repeat that many of legislators supporting these measures are honorable leaders and friends of mine. Yet, there are numerous reasons for opposing their proposal. And there is a fundamental flaw in their strategy.

The individuals and organization that have again masterminded and promoted these objectionable proposals, sadly have a reputation of racism. There are consistent and vigorous claims of non-discrimination but when considering the literature, rhetoric and track record of Oregonians For Immigration Reform, I’m reminded of Shakespeare’s phrase: “Methinks thou doth protest too much.”

Their spokesman was quoted this way: “They’re dividing the fabric of the community by not learning to speak English. … We’re not discriminating against any particular group. We just feel learning English would be important if you want to become a citizen.”

A common language for communication is an admirable goal. But why not promote English, bilingual education and additional language skills in our schools? Additionally, why not encourage adult education venues to address language and cultural differences and promote understanding and unity?

Largely as a result of a failed federal immigration policy, we have undocumented workers in our state who are proven hard-working citizens and trusted friends. If you choose to ignore the reality of generations of immigrants who are valued members of our community and economy, then who is really dividing the fabric of Oregon with frustrated misdirected policies at the state level?

I support a new focus on future federal standards of border safety. I will oppose clandestine discrimination cloaked in “immigration reform” that will make life more difficult for Oregon families with rich histories here and abroad. Let’s unite and raise the local bar of tolerance and understanding that results in a safer and stronger Oregon.

Vic Gilliam is state representative for House District 18, which spans from Aurora to Silverton.

http://portlandtribune.com/wbi/153-opinion/290522-167943-immigration-ref...

IRLI Files Motions to Intervene and Dismiss in Illegal Alien Lawsuit Seeking Driving Privileges

(Washington, D.C.) – On Wednesday, January 13, 2016, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (“IRLI”), along with Jill Gibson of the Gibson Law Firm, LLC, filed on behalf of their client Oregonians for Immigration Reform (“OFIR”) a motion to intervene in an Oregon federal court lawsuit brought by five admitted illegal aliens and two illegal alien special interest groups (collectively “plaintiffs”). At the same time, IRLI and Ms. Gibson filed on OFIR’s behalf a motion to dismiss the lawsuit as lacking merit. The lawsuit seeks to force the State of Oregon to grant driving privileges to illegal aliens.

Specifically, the suit seeks to overturn as unconstitutional the outcome of the November 2014 general election in Oregon, when, through the Oregon Constitution’s referendum veto process, Oregon voters overwhelmingly rejected (by 66%) a bill passed by the 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 who collected the requisite number of signatures to get the issue placed on the ballot.). Conspicuously absent from the plaintiffs’ complaint is any mention of the alleged fundamental right denied them. Certainly it is not the right to a driver’s license or interstate travel as every court to address this issue has held that illegal aliens hold no such rights.

States actually have a number of legitimate public purposes that are rationally served by laws that restrict driving privileges to persons lawfully present in the U.S. For instance, 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. States also have 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, states have a legitimate interest in promoting national security. 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.

Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s Executive Director commented, “This is a ridiculous case with no merit and is a waste of the court’s time and precious resources. The audacity of trespassers on our sovereign soil to demand taxpayer-funded benefits, like a driver’s license or card, just boggles the mind.” Wilcox continued, “Illegal aliens do not have a right to driving privileges, nor do they have a right to travel freely in the U.S. as federal law makes their very presence in the U.S. unlawful. In short, this case is about sour grapes as the overwhelming majority of Oregonians have spoken and rejected taxpayer-funded giveaways to those who have no legal right to be here.”

A copy of both motions as filed can be seen here:

http://Irli.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/stamped-motion-to-intervene.pdf

http://Irli.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/stamped-motion-to-dismiss.pdf

For additional information, contact:

Dale L. Wilcox
202-232-5590
dwilcox@irli.org

OFIR meeting - this Saturday!

Alert date: 
2016-01-22
Alert body: 

Never before has the issue of immigration – both legal and illegal – been such an important topic in the Presidential election. And, never before has our country been in such jeopardy because of our lax immigration policies.

Join OFIR this Saturday - bring your ideas and we will have an open discussion about what we can and should be doing to take advantage of the momentum in the immigration debate.

We'll also bring you up to date on the status of OFIR's two citizen's initiatives that have been winding their way through the ballot title challenge process all the way to the Supreme Court.

And, for all of you that worked so hard to defeat driver cards for illegal aliens, and are following the lawsuit filed in Federal Court to overturn our big 66% win – we will have the latest news to report to you.

And, if that's not enough – it's time to elect NEW Executive Board officers!

2016 promises to be a watershed year and hopefully a turning point for U.S. and Oregon immigration policies. But, voters must step up.

If you have questions please call OFIR at (503) 435-0141 or send an email to ofir@oregonir.org.

Driving directions to Best Western Mill Creek Inn:
From I-5, take exit 253, which is the intersection of I-5 and State roads 22 and Business 99E. Go West on 22 (Mission St.) a short distance to Hawthorne Ave. (Costco will be on your right.) Turn R on Hawthorne Ave. to the first left, which is Ryan Drive. Turn left on Ryan Drive, by Denny’s Restaurant, and proceed to Mill Creek Inn just beyond.

From downtown Salem: Go east on Mission St. (State Rd. 22). Follow 22 just past the Airport and turn left on Hawthorne Ave. Then take the first left (almost an immediate left) into Ryan Drive; you will see the Inn directly ahead.

Illegal immigrants sue Oregon over ballot measure denying licenses

A group of illegal immigrants is suing the state of Oregon to overturn a voter-approved initiative that denied them driver’s licenses.

The lawsuit, brought by five illegal immigrants, comes after Oregonians passed Measure 88 last year with a strong two-thirds majority. Thirty-five of Oregon’s 36 counties voted against licenses for undocumented residents, as did every congressional district in the state, most of which are represented by Democrats.

But the lawsuit alleges Measure 88 is unconstitutional because it "arbitrarily" denies driving privileges based on membership in a "disfavored minority group." It alleges Oregon voters were motivated by "animus toward persons from Mexico and Central America."

Gustavo Recarde, who has worked construction and odd jobs in Portland and several states since sneaking into the United States in 1988, said a driver's license would help him feel more comfortable here and open doors.

"If an illegal [can] get a driver's license, it would be better because there's more opportunities to find a job as a driver," said Recarde, who is not part of the lawsuit. He said he believes race played a role in the vote.

But Cynthia Kendoll, president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, said it's not the responsibility of Oregonians to make illegal immigrants comfortable or able to drive to jobs they don't legally have.

"They came here by choice, they weren't brought here against their will, and with those choices come hardships," she said.

Measure 88 was a public vote and a reaction to a law passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2013 and signed by then-Gov. John Kitzhaber, a Democrat, that would have given "driver's cards" to those who cannot prove they are in the U.S. legally.

The campaign to deny licenses won big despite being outspent 10-to-one.

"People were not swayed by their arguments that they deserve to have a driver's card so they could more easily get to their jobs," Kendoll said. "They're not supposed to be working here."

Kendoll said Oregonians were motivated by national security and drug-smuggling by Mexican cartels, not race. Those without papers have not gone through immigration checks, she said, and licenses make it easier to transport narcotics up and down the West Coast.

Norman Williams, associate dean for academic affairs at the Willamette University College of Law in Salem, said the plaintiffs’ best argument is under the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause – and to claim Oregon has no rational basis for depriving undocumented Latin Americans of the ability to drive on Oregon's roads.

"The U.S. Supreme Court has been clear that neither legislators nor voters may target a minority group because of their race or ethnicity," he said.

The plaintiffs -- five illegal immigrants identified only by their initials -- don't have to prove every Oregon voter was racially motivated, he said.

"They do have to establish there were enough voters who voted 'no' who were prompted to do so because of racial concerns, that could have tipped the balance," he said.

Still, Williams said they face an uphill battle.

"Federal judges are very hesitant to strike down state statutes on constitutional grounds," he said.


 

Just two weeks left to take advantage of your Oregon year end tax credit

Alert date: 
2015-12-16
Alert body: 

December is half over and we are now in the last two weeks where you can take advantage of Oregon state's political tax credit for donations to the OFIR Political Action Committee.

We encourage you to send a contribution to OFIR PAC before year's end. Please don't forget - write your check today or go to the OFIR website and contribute to the OFIR PAC. If you don't use your political tax credit before December 31 - the state will use the money for its own purposes. You have a choice and we hope you will choose the OFIR PAC.

If you are unfamiliar with the Oregon Political Tax credit, let me explain. Oregon residents can make a contribution to one Oregon Political Action Committee per year. Through Oregon's political tax credit, married couples filing joint Oregon Income Tax Returns receive a dollar for dollar credit of up to $100 - (it's $50 for singles and married couples filing separately) - for contributions to a Political Action Committee like OFIR PAC. This is your opportunity to divert a portion of your tax obligation to OFIR PAC and not to the State's coffers.

This is not a tax deduction but a credit. If you owe money on a joint tax return, you would owe $100 less as a married couple filing jointly. Of course, you may contribute in excess of the deductible amount, and we encourage you to do so, but you may deduct only the allowable limit.

Please write your check to OFIR PAC, or visit the OFIR website and donate online at http://www.oregonir.org/donate-ofir. If you click the DONATE button on this email and fill out the form, your contribution will automatically be credited to the OFIR PAC.

Checks can be mailed to OFIR PAC, PO Box 7354, Salem OR 97303.

Checks must be made to OFIR PAC - checks made out simply to OFIR are not eligible for the state income tax credit and, under IRS rules, are not tax-deductible, but we would still welcome your contribution to OFIR!

All OFIR officers and Board members are volunteers serving without pay and we have no paid employees other than a part-time bookkeeper. As one of the most active immigration organizations in the country, we must have funds for necessary expenses such as email and website services, printing and postage, annual fees to Oregon SOS and DOJ, meeting room expenses, reimbursement for gasoline and other miscellaneous expenses incurred for travel within the state.
 
Mounting initiatives involves large expenditures for printing, postage, websites, fees to lawyers and accountants, and more, yet we have much to gain from successful initiatives. Our winning Protect Oregon Driver Licenses campaign has been a template for other successful ventures across the country. OFIR has attracted the attention and interest of many state activist groups as well as national immigration organizations.
 
We are currently facing extremely dangerous threats related to immigration here in Oregon and across the country. A healthy, robust budget is a basic requirement for continued efforts to establish sensible immigration policies that serve the public interest and well being.

As you may remember, a matching grant offer is now in effect; whatever you give will be matched dollar for dollar, by a generous donor, up to $15,000.

I can truly say OFIR couldn't have accomplished what we have without the help, support and cooperation of each and every one of you. I wish I could personally thank each of you.

If you have not yet contributed to OFIR and the work we are doing - please consider doing so before the end of the year so that you can take advantage of the Oregon Tax Credit. We need all hands on deck at this time. Please, give generously but only what you can afford!

Remember to make your check out to OFIR PAC!  Thank you!

United Way helps fill financial needs for Latino school health program

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of stories about United Way-funded agencies and the people they serve. United Way of Lane County is in the midst of its annual fall fundraising campaign.

University of Oregon freshman Karla Mercado, 18, leaned back in a couch at North Eugene High School.

“Financially, it has always been a struggle,” she said. “Because of this program, I had one less worry growing up.”

Mercado is speaking about the Soy Sano/I Am Healthy program, a service at the health centers at North Eugene and Churchill high schools. The Eugene School District program has provided everything from medical checkups and immunizations to dental and vision help, mostly free of charge to Mercado, who grew up in Eugene and attended North Eugene .

Motivated in part by her experience at the clinic, Mercado now is taking classes at the University of Oregon to pursue a career in education. And she’s paying for her education in part by working at St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, the nonprofit human services organization.

Soy Sano targets a special population in Lane County: Latino youth who lack U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status — and therefore cannot get government-funded health insurance. It also serves other young people who do not have or do not qualify for public health insurance.

Mercado knows what it’s like to lack health insurance. She previously was an illegal immigrant; her status is now legal under a federal temporary permit program, and she is officially allowed to work.

The Soy Sano/I Am Healthy program began in 2010, paid for by a two-year pilot grant from the Oregon Legislature. With the backing of several local groups, the agency managed to keep its doors open even after the original grant funding ended in 2012.

Help is on the way

The funding is part of a broader, ongoing push by lawmakers to provide more help to illegal immigrants, especially youth who were brought into the United States illegally by their also-illegal parents.

In 2013, the Legislature approved a bill allowing some young illegal immigrants to pay in-state college tuition rates — as opposed to the much-higher out-of-state rates — at Oregon’s public universities.

In 2014, lawmakers approved giving Oregon drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrants, although voters statewide overwhelmingly overturned that change in November 2014. In this year’s legislative session, lawmakers opened some state-funded college scholarships to illegal immigrants.

In its first year of operation, Soy Sano/I Am Healthy helped provide comprehensive health services to 1,250 low-income children in Lane County who were born outside the United States, are in the country illegally and do not qualify for public health insurance, according to Eugene School-Based Health Center data.

The Oregon Center for Public Policy estimates there are 17,600 illegal immigrant children statewide.

Soy Sano has found that during the past couple of years, because of the expansion of the publicly funded Oregon Health Plan under the federal Affordable Care Act, fewer legal residents need the program’s help. But many hundreds of illegal immigrant children continue to lack insurance.

The program served 710 young clients in the 12 months ending in June.

Covering the children

The Affordable Care Act has not had much effect on health services for illegal immigrants because, according to the Oregon Center for Public Policy, federally funded insurance programs such as the Oregon Health Plan do not cover illegal immigrants, except in medical emergencies.

That leaves the families of illegal immigrants with the option of buying private health insurance, which is not subsidized and often expensive. Oregon is unlike Washington state, New York and Illinois, all of which provide government-­funded health insurance to illegal immigrant children within their states.

With the help of United Way of Lane County, other funding sources and community-donated resources, Soy Sano has reached its fifth year of operation, surviving even in a financially unstable climate.

“For many of these students, it’s very difficult,” said Beto Montes, the program’s bicultural outreach worker. “You come in from another country not knowing the language, the culture or the school system.”

Montes, 34 and bilingual, initially came into the United States from Mexico legally in 1990, when he was 9. He began attending the Eugene School District in fourth grade, and he received citizenship six years later because of his residency.

Montes attended the UO. He is pursuing a master’s degree in counseling at Northwest Christian University in Eugene.

Montes said his priority is providing a bridge between Latino parents and children and the school district. Two students Montes work with, 18-year-olds Luis and Romero, are prime examples.

The Register-Guard is withholding their last names to protect their privacy. They lack legal immigration status. Both came to the United States with their parents from Mexico as illegal immigrants.

“I haven’t been able to find any other health sources,” said Luis in Spanish, his words translated into English by Montes. Luis, who has younger siblings in Eugene schools, said Soy Sano has been a big help in his transition to living Eugene.

Romero agreed, noting he’s been able to use the program for basic health checkups.

Under the radar

UO student Mercado said she’s been inspired by the program.

“Even if I go somewhere else, I want to be a health activist,” she said.

Mercado originally was an illegal immigrant. But she received a renewable 2-year work visa through the federal Deferred Action Through Childhood Arrivals program, which is open to illegal immigrants who arrived in the United States before turning 16, who are 30 or younger and have lived within the country for the past five years, and who are attending school or serving in the military.

The health-care challenges facing illegal-immigrant children often go unnoticed in the broader community, said Maxine Proskurowski, the school district’s health service program manager.

“The community doesn’t see a need because these kids don’t show up at (health care providers),” said Proskurowski, noting that many illegal immigrant families don’t go to local health providers because they lack the money or insurance to cover the care.

When the Soy Sano program initially started, it received $40,920 from the Legislature in each of its first two years. That helped pay for nurse time; two part-time bilingual, bicultural outreach workers; and a portion of the coordinator’s salary.

The program was coordinated through the Community Health Centers of Lane County, the Eugene School District’s School-Based Health Centers, and Glenwood-based Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon.

Opening the doors

After grant funds ran out, United Way, the Eugene Education Fund, the Springfield-based PacificSource Foundation and several community outreach services stepped in to make up the difference.

Oregon Health Authority, the state’s health care department, also increased funding to the health centers. And the state office of Mental Health and Addictions awarded a grant to Lane County Behavioral Health to help cover the districts’ uninsured students.

Since 2013, United Way has provided $12,500 a year to the Eugene School District’s school-based health centers, and it promised an additional $10,000 directly to the Soy Sano program through January 2017.

“United Way has really opened the doors for us to get outside funding,” Proskurowski said. The strict application requirements and competitive process that United Way uses to choose grant recipients often encourages other grant and donor services to then financially support or donate resources to Soy Sano.

United Way “have been champions for us,” she said.

Adding dental care

Soy Sano’s clients now receive dental services through the Assistance League’s Children Dental Center at Churchill High as well as the Lane Community College Dental Hygiene Program.

“It’s a collaborative effort,” said Sharon Hagen, a dental hygiene instructor for LCC. The college receives $7,000 yearly from United Way to help cover dental checkups, mainly for illegal immigrants, and the college donates the rest of its dental services time.

Hagen said in the last school year, the program recorded 87 dental cleanings for Eugene School District students with Latino surnames. “The children in greatest need are the Hispanic children,” Hagen said.

Funding always has been touch and go.

In 2012, the Eugene district’s health centers fell behind in eligibility for state funding due in part to a lack of compliance with several new state health care mandates for record-keeping and reporting. The centers ultimately lost both state funding and funding from the school district, which had covered 80 percent of the centers’ operating costs.

Two of the centers closed, but local money has provided enough to keep the two remaining centers open. Proskurowski said the continuance of special programs such as Soy Sano hinges on school-based centers remaining open.

“The reality is, if we don’t get funding by June, the days are numbered for these (centers),” Proskurowski said.
 

Lawsuit aims to reinstate driver cards law dumped by voters

PORTLAND — An Oregon nonprofit filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking to reinstate a state law that would have allowed people to get driver's cards if they can't prove they are in the U.S. legally.

The law was approved by the Legislature in 2013 then overturned by voters the following year in a referendum.

In its lawsuit, the Oregon Law Center says it's illegal for Oregon to enforce Measure 88 ...

The group says the measure took driving privileges away from immigrants who lack legal status ...

The lawsuit also says the measure was driven by animosity and the desire to punish or to avoid rewarding a politically unpopular minority...

As a result, it is discriminatory and violates the U.S Constitution, the suit says.

The lawsuit does not question the general validity of Oregon's citizen initiative process.

Defendants targeted in the lawsuit include Gov. Kate Brown, the director the state Department of Transportation, several Transportation Commission members, and the administrator of the Oregon DMV.

State Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum's spokeswoman Kristina Edmunson said the Oregon Department of Justice will represent the defendants. Edmunson declined to comment on the pending litigation.

About 120,000 immigrants in Oregon lack legal status, according to the Pew Research Center...

The complaint was filed in the name of five anonymous immigrants who would have qualified for the driver's cards...

The suit seeks to be certified as a class action that includes all residents who have lived in the state for more than one year and are denied driving privileges solely because they are unable to prove legal presence.

The state estimated that, were it not for the passage of Measure 88, it would have issued about 84,000 driver's cards in the first year...

... in 2008, to make licenses compliant with the federal REAL ID Act, legislators enacted a law that required Oregonians to show proof of legal presence in the U.S. to obtain a license.

The state reversed course in 2013, joining seven other states in granting driving privileges to immigrants lacking legal status....

Oregon voters, by a margin of 66 percent to 34 percent cancelled that law before it went into effect.

Proponents of Measure 88 — mostly represented by the group Oregonians for Immigration Reform — said granting the driver cards would lead to more immigrants without legal status moving to Oregon, taking Oregonians' jobs and pushing up crime rates.

Andrea Miller, director of the Oregon immigrant-rights group Causa which pushed for the driver card law, said Measure 88's invalidation of the law has led to a crisis in the Latino community...
 


 

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