state legislation

From his blog to ours, Rep. Richardson speaks out

The Driver Card Bill (Senate Bill 833), passed the Senate, the House and has been signed into law by Gov. Kitzhaber.

I voted against issuing driver cards to those who cannot prove legal residency after learning the experience of other states where such laws have been tested. (Watch a video of my floor debate against Senate Bill 833 on YouTube.)

New Mexico’s illegal immigrant drivers’ law failed to achieve its goal of lessening the number of uninsured drivers. Investigations revealed New Mexico’s law was a magnet that attracted additional illegal immigration into their state. In addition, New Mexico’s governor says she wishes their law could be repealed — citing problems relating to fraud, human trafficking, organized crime and national security.

After several years, Tennessee repealed its driving certificate laws. Investigators discovered non-residents were being shuttled to Tennessee and driving certificates were being issued based on false residency documents and even bribery of government officials.

In short, the desire to help thousands of undocumented workers and their families be assimilated into Oregon society may be well-intended, but the new Oregon driver card may have unintended consequences. When states such as Tennessee and New Mexico have documented, widespread fraud and abuse of their driver cards, and have either repealed their laws or have a governor who wishes the laws were terminated, Oregon should beware.

Like it or not, the Oregon driver card law will become effective Jan. 1, 2014. Time will tell whether or not the Oregon driver card was good policy or fraught with negative unintended consequences.

Rep. Dennis Richardson

http://blogs.esouthernoregon.com/southern-oregon-legislators/2013/05/03/why-i-voted-against-driver-cards/

  Read more about From his blog to ours, Rep. Richardson speaks out

Esquivel files to kill new driver's licence law

SALEM — Medford state representative Sal Esquivel and a fellow GOP legislator want voters to decide whether to overturn a new law that allows illegal immigrants in Oregon to obtain driver's licenses.

Esquivel, Rep. Kim Thatcher of Keizer and Portland activist Richard LaMountain with the group Oregonians for Immigration Reform are sponsors of a referendum submitted to the Secretary of State's Office Wednesday.

Referendum supporters will have to work quickly if they want to make the November 2014 ballot. They'll have to gather more than 58,000 valid signatures from registered voters within 90 days after the Legislature adjourns.

The law is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, but it would be put on hold until after the election if referendum proponents successfully force a vote.

Critics say the law rewards illegal actions and might encourage more people without legal documents to come to Oregon.

"If someone is willing to disregard immigration laws, what other laws are they willing to disregard?" Thatcher said last month.

Esquivel, the son of immigrants, questioned the value of the law in a May 1 story in the Mail Tribune.

"They broke the law getting in the country, broke the law working, broke the law driving and broke the law by being uninsured," Esquivel said. "... I don't see where the card makes them buy insurance. Let's face the facts. They're not going to buy it."

Supporters, however, say it would make Oregon's roads safer by reducing the number of unlicensed and uninsured drivers.

"(The referendum) is trying to make this about immigration when this is a public safety issue about Oregon's roads," said Jeff Stone, director of Oregon Association of Nurseries and an architect of the law.

Stone said he's disappointed by the referendum, especially because the legislation passed with bipartisan support.

Gov. John Kitzhaber signed the bill last week before a throng of cheering supporters in front of the Capitol.

The law would allow tens of thousands of immigrants living in Oregon without legal permission to get driver's licenses good for four years, half as long as a standard Oregon license. Immigrants and others who don't have documents proving they are in the country lawfully, including elderly and homeless people, could apply for the driver's licenses if they've lived in Oregon for at least a year and meet other requirements.

The restricted driver's licenses could not be used to vote, board a plane or buy a firearm. The licenses would be marked "Driver's Card" to distinguish them from a standard Oregon license.
  Read more about Esquivel files to kill new driver's licence law

SB833 Referendum preparing for take off

Alert date: 
May 10, 2013
Alert body: 

The final preparations are being completed as the "Protect Oregon Driver Licenses" referendum campaign is nearing take off.  Fasten you seatbelts!

Petition signature sheets are in their final approval stage and soon we will begin printing and distributing supplies.

If you are interested in helping to collect signatures, please click on the "contact us" link and sign up.  We are compiling a list of volunteers.

If you are interested, and are able to help financially, please do!  The expense to undertake such a project is great.  Any financial assistance you can give would be appreciated and would be put to very good use over-turning this destructive legislation.

Another suggestion, while we are dotting all the "i's" and crossing all the "t's" would be to write a letter to the Editor.  We would like to flood the papers with letters of support for this campaign.  For inspiration, visit the letters section of our website.

Standby for take-off!
 

Do you wonder what others think about illegal immigration? Check out OFIR'S letter to the editor link

Everyone has an opinion and one way to put it to good use is to write a letter to the editor of your local paper.

Be brief, be specific and be respectful.  A good idea is to ask someone else you know to read it before you submit it, to be certain there are no errors and that your intent is clear.

You can go to your newspaper's website and check out their policy for LTE's (letter's to the editor) regarding the word count limit, the best way and how often you can submit a letter, too. 

If you have a letter published, please share it with OFIR and we will post it on our website.

Don't know how to get started?  Check out some of these great letters! Read more about Do you wonder what others think about illegal immigration? Check out OFIR'S letter to the editor link

Opponents will seek to force election on driver cards

Alert date: 
May 1, 2013
Alert body: 

Hours after Gov. John Kitzhaber signed it today, opponents said they would seek to force a statewide election on a bill allowing four-year driver’s cards to those who cannot prove legal presence to obtain an Oregon driver’s license.

Sponsors would have to gather 58,142 valid signatures and file them by Sept. 26, which is 90 days after the targeted adjournment of the 2013 Legislature on June 28. If the referendum qualified for the ballot, voters would decide the issue in November 2014, although lawmakers could provide for a different election date.

“It’s a huge undertaking, but we do not feel Oregonians have been represented in this building,” said Cynthia Kendoll of Salem, president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, the chief group in opposition to Senate Bill 833. “Our goal is to make certain that people have the opportunity to vote on this.”

The referendum effort does not become official until the secretary of state certifies the process.

SB 833, which Kitzhaber signed at a May Day rally on the Capitol steps, would take effect on Jan. 1 if opponents do not get the required signatures. If they do, the bill would be suspended until the statewide vote.

Other than proof of legal presence in the United States, which lawmakers in 2008 made a requirement of obtaining a driver’s license, applicants for driver’s cards still would have to show proof of identity and date of birth, and pass written and driving-skills tests. Cards would be good for four years, half the eight years for a regular license.

Kendoll said lawmakers took barely one month to consider the bill. It was introduced on April 2, the same day that Kitzhaber signed into law in-state tuition rates for some immigrant students whose parents brought them into the United State illegally as children. That bill can be challenged legally in a suit filed with the Oregon Supreme Court, but House Bill 2787 is not subject to a referendum because an emergency clause is attached.

The House gave final legislative approval to it Tuesday on a 38-20 vote.

Kendoll’s group has launched previous efforts at ballot initiatives, which have a higher requirement for signatures, but none qualified for a statewide election.

Four other states have allowed alternatives to licenses meeting requirements of the federal Real ID Act: Illinois, New Mexico, Utah and Washington. Those alternatives are authorized by federal law, but cannot be used for federal identification purposes, such as entering federal buildings or boarding commercial aircraft.
 

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?”


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

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.

  Read more about Keizer man arrested in DUII crash identified, has ICE hold

SB 833 is harmful to Oregon and the U.S. and should be voted down

by Elizabeth Van Staaveren

In 2007, when the events of 9/11 and the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission were fresh in the public mind, Governor Kulongoski issued an Executive Order calling for stricter requirements for issuance of driver licenses. He also called upon the Legislature to enact legislation giving the requirements statutory authority.

In our own state, abuses on a significant scale had already been discovered in the sale of fraudulent driver licenses to out-of-state illegal aliens. "It appears that criminal organizations ... are using Oregon's permissive standards in order to assist persons to illegally obtain" licenses, Governor Kulongoski’s order explained.

In February 2008, a new Oregon driver’s license law was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers of the Legislature. It required driver's license applicants to prove U.S. citizenship or legal residence. The law has worked well and citizens have had the security of knowing that illegal aliens and any criminals among them could not easily use Oregon as a source for falsifying their identity.

Why abandon this security in an increasingly dangerous world? It was very irresponsible of Gov. John Kitzhaber to yield to the pleas and demands of illegal alien advocates and actually sponsor a group of them to fashion SB 833 behind closed doors without allowing any input from citizens who represent the public interest. It was not only irresponsible but dangerous, because among the illegal aliens there are many who drink and drive recklessly and have killed or maimed innumerable innocent citizens in road crashes. Furthermore, the deadly drug trade flourishes in Oregon because illegal aliens are either directly involved themselves or can be forced by drug lords to aid them. Even more formidable are the international terrorists who take advantage of weak state driver license laws to embed themselves into a community and hide their massively crippling plans.

Citizenship is meaningless if illegal immigrants are allowed to enter and remain in this country encouraged and unchallenged. SB 833 accommodates and legitimizes illegal aliens, thus tarnishing the value of U.S. citizenship and saying to the world: citizenship matters little or not at all -- anyone can come here any time, and settle.

Already wages are depressed because of the volume of illegal immigration. Our less-educated citizens have to compete for jobs against illegal aliens who will work for a pittance and dare not protest working conditions to an employer. Citizens are losing out and many remain unemployed for long periods, a devastating situation for them, while they watch illegal aliens working at every construction site, in landscaping, agriculture, hotels, restaurants, and various other places.

A recent Gallup poll showed that more than 100 million people worldwide dream of a life in the U.S., and would come here if they could. The U.S. is the no. 1 desired destination for potential migrants. Of course we cannot admit all of them. Immigration laws are essential and must be enforced; otherwise the U.S. is on a disastrous path to overpopulation and chaos. Extending driver licenses to illegal aliens will only expedite the disaster.

This particular bill, SB 833, has been loosely written to allow many crucial decisions to be made by the DMV, an agency which is under political pressure from any Governor in office at the time. As the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association stated in their testimony on SB 833, a driver privilege card should be “very clearly different from the current Oregon Identification Card and Oregon Drivers License. While the current language does provide some direction, Sheriffs believe the statute should be more specific. … Some of these requirements should be statutory rather than strictly administrative.”

The Sheriffs Association also stated that they think “obtaining a driving privilege document should be a robust and rigorous process and … they should be renewed annually. Sheriffs believe a four-year term is too long. …”

Instead of spending time making life here more comfortable for illegal aliens, our legislators should assist the federal government in enforcing the immigration laws. There are many things that states can do to help.

SB 833, granting driver privileges to illegal aliens, is harmful both to Oregon and to this country. Citizens should contact their legislators and urge them to reject SB 833. Read more about SB 833 is harmful to Oregon and the U.S. and should be voted down

Your calls urgently needed

Alert date: 
April 20, 2013
Alert body: 

If you have been wondering if there is anything you can do to help this sinking ship, which is called Oregon, I URGE you to call as many Legislators as you possibly can and ask them to please vote NO on Senate bill 833. 

This bill is very thinly veiled with unsubstantiated proclamations of public safety all while ignoring the simple fact that illegal aliens aren't supposed to be in our country at all...let alone driving back and forth to their jobs!

Call Committee members today and tell them you are very disappointed they have voted to advance this bill:

Sen. Lee Beyer (503) 986-1706 sen.leebeyer@state.or.us

Sen Bruce Starr (503) 986-1715 sen.brucestarr@state.or.us (thank him for voting NO)

Sen. Chris Edwards (503) 986-1707 sen.chrisedwards@state.or.us

Sen. Fred Girod (503) 986-1709 sen.fredgirod@state.or.us (thank him for voting NO)

Se. Rod Monroe (503) 986-1724 sen.rodmonroe@state.or.us

Sen. Chuck Thomsen (503) 986-1726 sen.chuckthomsen@state.or.us

Then, call your own Legislator:  http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/home.htm and tell them you are a constituent and you do not want this bill to pass.  It's bad for Oregon.

 


 

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. Read more about Crime tracker speaks out about the sad reality of SB833

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - state legislation