ballot measure 88

Oregon 2014 Ballot Measure 88 will give driver cards to illegal aliens. Vote NO on Ballot Measure 88.

ILLEGAL ALIENS SUING FOR RIGHT TO OBTAIN DRIVER LICENSES

A group of illegal aliens and two non-profits are suing the State of Oregon saying their constitutional rights were violated when voters struck down a ballot-initiative that would have given them driving privileges. Those opposing their efforts also argue that federal taxpayer funds are being illegally used to pay lawyers for the plaintiffs.

Familias En Accion and Los Ninos Cuentan and five illegal aliens are suing the Oregon Governor Kate Brown, numerous members of the Oregon Department of Transportation Commission, and the Administrator of the Driver and Motor Vehicles Division for the Oregon Department of Transportation. The complaint was filed in early November.

A federal district judge in Oregon will soon be deciding whether the group of illegal immigrants had their constitutional rights violated after voters struck down via voter referendum, S.B. 833, that would have given driving privileges to illegal aliens in Oregon.

When passed and signed into law by the governor, S.B. 833 directed the Department of Transportation to issue a driver card to an applicant who does not provide proof of legal presence in the U.S. The only requirement for them is to comply with the requirements for driving privileges, and to have lived in Oregon for more than one year. Opponents say the law was hurriedly passed by the legislature and governor.

According to the group’s class action complaint, the 2014 citizen referendum that nullified the measure (by 66 percent of the vote), “arbitrarily and irrationally” excludes them from driving privileges and is motivated by racial animus against Mexicans and Central Americans.

Lawyers for those fighting the lawsuit say that the illegal immigrants and the non-profits that represent them, also claim that the referendum was motivated by a “desire to punish” them. They say the plaintiffs urge that “it is not a crime for a person to seek or engage in unauthorized work in the United States.”

In 2013, the Oregon state government attempted to join a growing number of states that have passed laws granting driving privileges to illegal aliens. Before the bill was implemented, a pro-immigration control advocate, Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR), sparked a ballot initiative gathering over 58,000 signatures to let voters decide whether they wanted the law.

The initiative received resounding support from voters concerned that such privileges would lead to more illegal aliens moving into their state, resulting in more crime and welfare abuse and further disruption to Oregon’s communities and labor market. Although the illegal aliens are suing the state of Oregon in order to get the citizen-ballot results found void and unenforceable, OFIR has filed a motion to intervene in the case.

According to OFIR’s attorneys, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), a D.C. nonprofit law firm, the Oregon attorney general’s office appears to volunteer an argument on behalf of the illegal immigrant plaintiffs in its brief, specifically that the Fourteenth Amendment protects politically unpopular minority groups from being targeted by state action and that this group could encompass illegal immigrants.

Julie Axelrod, IRLI counsel for the case told Breitbart Texas that such a constitutional protection does not exist. If it did, says Axelrod, “this would be fatal to U.S. immigration law as a whole, which necessarily ‘targets’ illegal aliens and specifically states that aliens ‘shall be removed’ from the country should they enter without inspection.”

The Oregon AG’s office also claims that OFIR made derogatory and racist statements about Hispanics in their get-out-the-vote-efforts, which is absolutely not true, according to OFIR and their attorneys. Nor does OFIR have a “general interest in denying rights to immigrants” as the plaintiffs have claimed, says Axelrod. “OFIR has never sought to deny rights to lawful immigrants. OFIR simply believes, in common with 66 percent of Oregon voters, that granting driving privileges to those present in this country in violation of the law is poor public policy,” said Axelrod.

Earlier this month, attorneys for the illegal aliens, the Oregon Law Center (OLC), filed a brief opposing OFIR’s motion to intervene in the case. Even though OFIR arranged the very ballot-measure that’s involved in the case, the illegal aliens’ attorneys are relying on the 2013 decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry, where the Supreme Court ruled that proponents of traditional marriage in California could not make their government enforce the successful ballot initiative due to the group not having a sufficient “personal stake in defending its enforcement.” That decision, OFIR attorneys argue, applies only to a party’s right to bring a case in court, not to intervene on behalf of a party to the case.

On top of claiming rights normally given only to citizens and legal residents, the illegal aliens appear to be using a federal taxpayer-grant program to pay for their legal representation in violation of congressional appropriations law.

According to OLC’s website, the group receives numerous grants from the federal government, including from the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), a taxpayer-funded grant-making entity created by Congress in 1974. IRLI says that since the mid-1980’s, when LSC was caught providing federal grants to organizations representing illegal aliens, Congress prohibited the agency from spending appropriated funds for “litigation and related activities” for “representation of illegal aliens.”

The prohibition from spending tax dollar-funded federal funds is still on the books today; however, lawyers for the illegal immigrants appear to be receiving taxpayer money anyway, says the attorneys for OFIR. That the LSC feels safe in violating Congress’s prohibition shouldn’t be surprising, says Axelrod. Since 2014, the Obama administration has distributed millions of dollars in grants to lawyers representing illegal immigrant minors from Central America.

There have been several articles and treatises written about why the Legal Services Corporation must be abolished, including this one by the Heritage Foundation.

Oregon is fighting the trend, set by a wave of states, to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. According to a Pew Charitable Trusts study, “[a]s of the summer of 2015, 10 states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Vermont, and Washington) and the District of Columbia issue driver’s licenses, or similar documents referred to by different names, to this population, and nearly 37 percent of unauthorized immigrants live in a jurisdiction where they may obtain a license.”

Breitbart News reported in February of this year that California has issued driver licenses to more than a half million illegal immigrants (605,000) in 2015. This was the first year that the illegal immigrants were eligible for driving certification in California. California Assembly Bill 60 (AB 60) was implemented on January 2, 2o15.

The results of an April 2015 survey by YouGov/Huffington Post of 1000 adult Americans found that 47% “strongly oppose,” and 17% “somewhat oppose,” allowing Illegal aliens to obtain driver licenses in their state. Moreover, 42 percent of those surveyed felt that allowing illegal aliens to obtain drivers licenses “makes the U.S. less safe.”

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as an associate judge and prosecutor. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2

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.

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

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.

On Driver's Licenses for Illegal Aliens, States' Rights, and Discrimination

Fox News is reporting that a group of aliens living illegally in the United States, Oregon specifically, is suing to overturn a ballot initiative in that state in which voters resoundingly rebuffed attempts to legislatively permit illegal aliens to obtain Oregon driver's licenses.

The basis? Discrimination. The plaintiffs allege that the ballot initiative, Measure 88, is unconstitutional "because it 'arbitrarily' denies driving privileges based on membership in a 'disfavored minority group.' It [the lawsuit] alleges Oregon voters were motivated by "animus toward persons from Mexico and Central America."

Fox quotes Norman Williams, associate dean for academic affairs at the Willamette University College of Law in Salem, as saying "that 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."

Mr. Williams goes on to say, "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 seems to be missing the point that it is immigration status, not race or ethnicity, that is key to the license denial. It is beyond argument that the state has a legitimate interest in deciding to whom it will issue driver's licenses; certainly Oregonian voters think so. So does the Federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which recently sustained a restraining order against the Obama administration issued by a U.S. District Court in Texas after that state (and 25 others) filed suit. Perhaps the good dean should read that opinion.

It is hard to imagine how a claim of unconstitutional discrimination could possibly be sustained. First, the ballot measure is facially neutral. It denies a license to anyone who is illegally in the country, without regard to race, ethnicity, or national origins. An overstayed Canadian of Northern European origins would be denied a license as surely as a mestizo from Mexico.

Second, individuals lawfully residing in the United States — including, obviously, people of Mexican or Central American origin — are all entitled to licenses without other qualifiers or caveats, so they are clearly unaffected. Surely if there were state-sanctioned "animus toward persons from Mexico and Central America" it would leak over into other provisions of the motor vehicle laws. But it clearly has not.

While it is true that Mexicans make up a large (but shrinking) portion of the population of aliens illegally in the United States — the Pew Research Center estimates 5.6 million in 2014, down from 6.4 million in 2009 — it is equally true that Mexicans represent the highest proportion of lawful resident aliens living in the United States as of 2013, according to the Department of Homeland Security. (See Table 4, here.)

The only thing one can reliably conclude from available statistics is that, by geographical circumstance (Mexico being the neighbor to our immediate south and the Central American countries just a bit further south), a large proportion of both our legal and our illegal populations will almost inevitably emanate from those countries. How this translates into a claim of discrimination is beyond me.

Let us watch and see how this mini-drama plays out. One suspects that the legal organizations representing the plaintiffs know full well that they are attempting to tilt the tables in the ongoing struggle between the states and the administration in the Fifth Circuit case, which the Justice Department has asked the Supreme Court to hear, by playing off of the same issues under the guise of discrimination.
 

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.


 

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...
 


 

Dems defy Oregon voters on funding illegal immigrants

by Richard F. LaMountain

What will it take for the Legislature’s Democratic majority to heed Oregonians’ will?

Last year, via Ballot Measure 88, Oregon voters rejected the illegal-immigrant driver cards the Legislature approved in 2013.  The magnitude of that rejection — the margin was almost two-to-one — made clear: the vote transcended the issue of driver cards to constitute a broad mandate against state-government benefits for illegal immigrants.

In the 2015 session, however, the Democratic majority legislated as though Measure 88’s outcome had been the opposite — passing laws, indeed, that give many illegal immigrants a better shot at taxpayer-funded educational aid than most American citizens.

Senate Bill 932, which Gov. Kate Brown signed Aug. 12, credentials certain illegal immigrants — those who entered the United States as minors and graduated from Oregon high schools — to compete against U.S. citizens for need-based Oregon Opportunity Grants to the state’s colleges.  And to aid them in doing so, House Bill 2407, which Brown signed in early July, gives them race-based preferences over American students seeking the same.

How?  HB 2407’s text authorizes the state Office of Student Access and Completion to “prioritize awarding Oregon Opportunity Grants to qualified students . . . whose circumstances would enhance the promotion of equity guidelines published by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission.”  Those guidelines, wrote Sen. Doug Whitsett, R-Klamath Falls, in Eugene’s Register-Guard newspaper, are based upon an “equity lens” whose purpose is to maximize “funding for students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.”

And foremost among those “underrepresented” groups?  Illegal-immigrant youths, who are overwhelmingly Hispanic — a fact which will, thanks to HB 2407, give them preference for Oregon Opportunity Grants over white and, in many cases, Asian-American applicants.

What possessed the Legislature’s Democratic majority to pass laws that so blatantly contradict Oregonians’ clear mandate against benefits for illegal immigrants?

Answer: A radical, dogmatic belief that illegal immigrants should enjoy the rights and privileges of American citizens — a belief outlined in a June letter to Salem’s Statesman Journal newspaper signed by all 35 House Democrats.  “Keeping our state a great place to live — a place where all working families have a chance to get ahead and where everyone is treated equally — will require us to reject the poisonous idea that some families matter more than others,” the letter proclaimed.  “All Oregonians deserve to be treated with respect and humanity, regardless of their . . . citizenship status.”

And for the Legislature’s majority party, evidently, such “respect and humanity” require favoring illegal-immigrant students over American youths for taxpayer-funded educational grants.

What the Democrats miss: Whatever the circumstances of their arrival here, illegal immigrants are not, as the House majority caucus asserts, “Oregonians.”  They are, rather, foreign nationals here in violation of U.S. immigration law — law that was instituted by the American people via the representatives they elected to Congress.  And when Oregon’s Democratic Legislature grants benefits to those illegal immigrants, it undermines the interests of the Americans to whom it owes its foremost responsibility — the Americans, indeed, who via Ballot Measure 88 signaled their overwhelming opposition to such benefits.

In 2016, voters should elect a new majority party to the state Legislature — one which will respect both the electoral mandates and the interests of Oregon’s U.S. citizens.

Richard F. LaMountain is a former vice president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform and served as a chief petitioner of Ballot Measure 88, the 2014 referendum via which Oregon voters rejected illegal-immigrant driver cards.

California offers driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants

This year California has begun to offer undocumented immigrants driver’s licenses, and tens of thousands of immigrants have been standing long hours in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles offices around the state to avail themselves of the new document.

Polls show that most state residents support the new policy, which is in line with other state policies which allow undocumented immigrants in the state, for example, to practice law or dentistry, among other licensed professions.

California now allows children from low-income undocumented families to receive subsidized health care, and lawmakers are considering allowing undocumented immigrants to buy health insurance through the state’s public exchange. A bill now before the legislature would give agricultural workers permits and protect them from deportation, although deportation of undocumented immigrants has been dealt with at the federal level. A suburb of Los Angeles will this week appoint undocumented immigrants to two unpaid advisory board positions.

DMV officials say that of the 883,000 licenses issued so far this year, 443,000 were issued to undocumented immigrants. The officials estimate that by the end of 2017, the DMV will issue more than 1.5 million driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants in the state.

The New York Times notes that about three million undocumented immigrants – about a quarter of undocumented immigrants in the United States – live and work in California. More than half of the state population consists of immigrants or children of immigrants.

There are critics who say the new policy interferes with federal immigration policies. Joe Guzzardi, a spokesman for Californians for Population Stabilization, a group which calls for restricting immigration, told the Times that the new policy “creates even more of a magnet in what is already basically a sanctuary state…. These are very tangible rewards to people who have knowingly and willingly violated the law.”

Other states have also moved to offer driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, but polls show that there is less public support for such policies in those states. In Connecticut, state authorities expected 54,000 applications for driver’s licenses from undocumented immigrants within three years of the policy being initiated, but found out that 50,000 rushed to apply in the first six months, leading to complaints from residents about long lines and delays. Maryland has, since January 2014, issued about 60,000 licenses to undocumented immigrants, while Colorado has given out about 10,000.

 

Not everything is an emergency

Please read the Guest Column written by Oregon Senator Betsy Johnson, (D–Scappoose) that appeared in the Daily Astorian newspaper.

Senator Johnson exposes the misuse of the “emergency clause” by the Oregon Legislature.  She uses the vote on Measure 88 as the prime example of why bills should not have an emergency clause unless there is a true emergency.

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

Guest Column: Not everything is an emergency

By State Sen. Betsy Johnson

Published: May 21, 2015

Any law with an emergency clause is protected from the people’s veto power.

The Oregon Legislature is beginning to resemble a 9-1-1 call center. Almost everything is an emergency.

Increasingly these are the words you find in the House and Senate bills coming out of the Legislature: “An emergency is declared to exist, and this act takes effect on its passage.”

Any law with an emergency clause is protected from the people’s veto power. Voters cannot challenge it through the referendum process.

You might be surprised what constitutes an emergency. In this session so far, it includes bills like “banning the box,” which makes it unlawful for employers to ask job applicants to check a box if they’ve been convicted of a felony. Why would ex-felons’ job hunts constitute an emergency? There are many non-felons who endure extended job searches.

Or how about the “motor voter” law, HB 2177, which automatically registers licensed drivers to vote. What kind of an emergency exists that requires drivers to be automatically registered to vote?

Then there’s the recently approved gun law, SB 941, which requires licensed gun dealers to conduct background checks for private sales of legal firearms. (If you buy or sell on the black market, you’re exempt from this emergency.)

Soon to come is SB 822, an emergency bill requested by criminal defense attorneys, who want grand jury proceedings tape-recorded. Criminal defense attorneys, apparently, can’t wait to find out the identities of victims and witnesses.

At the rate we’re going, all bills will be deemed emergency acts. It will become routine. Perhaps that’s the point. If citizens complain that a controversial bill has been labeled an emergency to protect it from the people’s veto power, legislators can quell any suspicion by simply saying, “Most bills have an emergency clause.”

Voters still have some constitutional protection. Tax bills, for example, cannot be enacted as an emergency.

If you’re a citizen curious about the number of bills that were passed as emergencies in the last regular session, the information may not be readily available. If you call the legislative assembly office, they may direct you to the state legislature’s website and a section called “Citizen Engagement.”

There you’ll find a 190-page document called the “2013 Summary of Legislation.” One caller I know prowled through that, read the brief descriptions and effective dates of each bill that passed, and found that about half of the roughly 300 bills listed there were emergencies.

One bill that slipped through without an emergency clause was SB 833, and its fate is a lesson in why referendum power is important.

SB 833 allowed illegal immigrants to obtain driver cards. Since it wasn’t an emergency, opponents had 90 days after the end of the legislative session to exercise the power of referendum. They collected enough signatures from qualified voters and forced SB 833 onto the November 2014 ballot. As Ballot Measure 88, voters rejected driver cards for illegal immigrants by almost a 2-to-1 margin.

The people’s veto power exists for a reason. It serves as a check on legislators who can become so focused on what happens inside the state Capitol building that they forget there’s an entire state outside the door.

We work in a grand, majestic building. It’s open to the public. But once the legislature is in session, a legislator’s time is often consumed talking to other legislators and lobbyists. We don’t always notice things like emergency clauses and whether they are really needed. Some of my bills have carried emergency clauses.

Our state’s frequent use of the emergency clause is not unique.

Former Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, concerned about similar abuse in her state, began vetoing emergency clauses on bills, leaving intact the rest of the legislation. One of her first such vetoes was an emergency clause on a bill adding porphyria to the list of disabilities for special parking privileges.

The Olympian newspaper praised her in an editorial: “The Legislature’s overuse of the emergency clause should incense the public because it takes away their right to reject laws adopted by the Legislature. Where’s the outrage?”

Oregon’s constitution also allows the governor to veto an emergency provision in new bills without affecting the rest of the bill.

Governor Kate Brown should use this power. As Secretary of State, she pushed for the “motor voter” bill, ostensibly to make it easier for more voters to exercise their right to vote.

The emergency clause does exactly the opposite.

It takes away the people’s right to vote.

Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, represents District 16, covering Clatsop and Columbia counties and parts of Multnomah, Tillamook and Washington.

The people’s veto power exists for a reason.

http://www.dailyastorian.com/columns/20150521/guest-column-not-everythin...

From:  The DailyAstorian

THE COLUMBIA-PACIFIC REGION’S NEWS SOURCE SINCE 1873

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - ballot measure 88