Measure 88 should be voted down

Article publisher: 
The Observer
Article date: 
Monday, September 29, 2014
Article category: 
Oregon Issues
Article Body: 

At a time of heightened concern about U.S. immigration policy and the failure of Congress to enact meaningful immigration reform, it may seem at face value that it would be beneficial to allow undocumented immigrants the privilege of driving.

As we read about Oregon’s proposed driver card for those who cannot prove citizenship, it’s important to note that the card serves only as evidence of driving privileges — it doesn’t confirm identity or age as typical drivers licenses do.

Proponents argue this will grant those here illegally the opportunity to purchase insurance and provide a regulatory framework in the case of an accident.

But let’s get back to something we mentioned earlier. Driving isn’t a right; it’s a privilege. Granting undocumented immigrants the authority to drive, supporters say, will make the roads safer because the immigrants will purchase insurance.

While that’s a nice goal, Oregon would be doing a lot in the hopes that this happens. In New Mexico, uninsured rates didn’t noticeably decrease when the state began granting drivers cards to those who cannot prove their citizenship.

We cannot ignore the fact that driving is commonly tied to the ability to work, and while it may be the goal of Measure 88 supporters to help immigrants get to work, this law would instead perpetuate the use of undocumented immigrant labor.

Our nation is founded on immigration. We, as we always have been, are a melting pot. Before we allow undocumented immigrants the privilege to drive, though, we need to instead reevaluate our federal immigration policy. Because this law will encourage the hiring of undocumented workers with only a thin hope of actually helping public safety, we urge you to vote no on Measure 88.