driver's license

Thousands pack California DMV offices as undocumented immigrants get first licenses

STANTON, Calif. (AP) — ....Thousands of people crammed into DMV offices and waited in hours-long lines to apply for a license as California became the 10th state to authorize immigrants in the country illegally to drive.

The DMV expects to field 1.4 million applications in the first three years of a program aimed at boosting road safety and making immigrants' lives easier...

Only four DMV offices were taking walk-in applicants. Hundreds of immigrants donning scarves and gloves and clutching driver handbooks braved near-freezing temperatures in the Orange County city of Stanton to try to get a place in line before dawn...

Immigrant advocates have cheered the licenses as a way to integrate immigrants who must drive to work and shuttle children to school, though the cards will include a distinctive marking and are not considered valid federal identification. Critics have questioned state officials' ability to verify the identity of foreign applicants, citing security concerns.

Applicants must submit proof of identity and state residency and pass a written test to get a driving permit. Those who don't possess foreign government-issued identification on a list of approved documents can be interviewed by a DMV investigator to see if they qualify.

Immigrants must come back at a later date and pass a road test to get the license, which will be marked with the words "federal limits apply." Those who have licenses from other states are not required to take the road test again, Gonzalez said....

Some immigrants who waited in line for hours Friday failed the required written test and vowed to make an appointment to return on another date to try again. About half of new driver's license applicants fail the written exam, Gonzalez said....


 

CA Illegal Immigrant at DMV: ‘Nobody’s Passing’ Written Test

Many illegal immigrants at a Northern California DMV reportedly were failing the written exam when applying for driver’s licenses on Friday.

Under the AB 60 law that Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed in 2013 and took effect at the start of 2015, illegal immigrants were able to apply for driver’s licenses on Friday. And nearly 1.4 illegal immigrants are expected to apply for licenses in California in the next three years.

At a DMV in south Sacramento, Veronica Oropeza, a 28-year-old illegal immigrant who has reportedly been driving without a license for six years, reportedly failed her written exam twice.

“Nobody’s passing,” she told the Sacramento Bee in Spanish.

As the Bee noted, “those who passed the written exam were given a driver’s permit and required to return another day to take the road test.”

When Nevada allowed illegal immigrants to apply for licenses last year, 71% of illegal immigrants in the state reportedly failed the written exam...

Oropeza had “already spent more than three hours at the DMV,” and “she couldn’t stay to take the exam a third time, she said, because she had to get to work.”


 

OFIR applauds voters for seeing through the false statements

Two months after the election those who supported the new law giving driver cards to illegal aliens - on the ballot as Measure 88 - are still trying to explain away their overwhelming defeat. 

Spending nearly $600,000 (more than ten times that of Protect Oregon Driver Licenses) Andrea Miller - Director of Causa - claims they simply didn't have the resources to "educate the public".

The clear and simple truth is that the majority of Oregon Legislators, the Governor, big unions and special interest groups couldn't quite dupe the public. 

The reality of the major problems created by granting driver cards to illegal aliens was just too big to bury in the sob stories of hardship about getting to and from jobs that illegal aliens are not supposed to have in the first place.

Nearly a million voters - 66% voted NO on 88, even after hearing nothing but misinformation and, in some cases, downright lies about what Ballot Measure 88 would accomplish.

Jim Ludwick - founder and past President of OFIR laid it all out nicely in a letter in response to yet another sob story printed in The Register-Guard.


 

Measure 88-supporting politicians disregarded unemployed Oregonians

OregonLive.com

By David Olen Cross

We have included excerpts - click here for the complete article.

Oregon’s continued high unemployment numbers continue to show how Governor John Kitzhaber, Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and members of the Oregon State Legislature who supported Ballot Measure 88 (formerly known as Senate Bill 833), legislation that would have required the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issue driver cards to illegal immigrants, foreign nationals illegally in the state, are politicians hopelessly disconnected from the plight of the unemployed in the state.

An evaluation of the seasonally adjusted unemployment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, News Release from November 21, 2014 titled “Regional and State Employment and Unemployment — October 2014” revealed the National unemployment rate at 5.8 percent — Oregon’s unemployment at 7.0 percent...

What follows below are complete lists of the names of Democrat and Republican elected officials currently in office...

Gov. John Kitzhaber supported and signed into law SB 833 — represents 36 Oregon counties’ 127,041 unemployed (UE) — 7.0 percent seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (SAUR).

Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian supported SB 833 — represents 36 counties’ 127,041 UE, 7.0 percent SAUR.

Democrat senators (Sen.) who voted for or were sponsors of SB 833 and the senate district (SD) they represent: click here

Republican senators who voted for or were sponsors of SB 833 and the senate district they represent: click here

Sen. Herman Baertschiger Jr. (SD-2) — represents portions of Jackson’s 7,389 UE — 8.5 percent SAUR and Josephine’s 2,989 UE — 9.6 percent SAUR;
 
Democrat representatives (Rep.) who voted for or were sponsors of SB 833 and the house district (HD) they represent: click here

Republican representatives who voted for or were sponsors of SB 833 and the house district they represent: click here

An indefensible argument given by proponents of driver cards for the foreign nationals illegally in the state, are illegal immigrants need to be able drive to work. A reminder for proponents of driver cards, foreign nationals illegally in the country cannot legally work in the state.

Another argument of proponents of driver cards is Oregon U.S. citizens will not work at the jobs illegal immigrants now occupy. This argument is at best a half-truth; Oregon U.S. citizens have historically been more than willing to work in construction, forestry, hotels, and restaurants.

.... estimate of 110,000 unauthorized workers in the state.

....  there are up to 52,880 unauthorized agricultural workers in the state.

Oregon’s 127,041 unemployed should contact their governor, labor commissioner and legislators and tell them in the future to reject the idea of any executive action or legislation that would require the DMV to grant a state issued identity in the form of a driver card to illegal immigrants — foreign nationals illegally in the state — that would allow them to legally drive to work.

Here is how Oregon’s’ unemployed can contact their governor, labor commissioner, and members of the state legislature (See links):

Governor: http://www.oregon.gov/gov/Pages/ShareYourOpinion.aspx

Labor commissioner: http://www.bradavakian.com/contact/

Find who represents me: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-search.html

State senators: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/senate/

State representatives: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/house/

David Olen Cross of Salem writes on immigration issues and foreign national crime. He can be reached at docfnc@yahoo.com.

Oregon Legislature poised to act inspite of citizen's vote

I thought OFIR had uncovered a real gem when Mike Nearman, Polk County Republican Chairman, enthusiastically jumped in to help with the PODL citizen's veto referendum to overturn SB833.

I knew we were very fortunate when Mike agreed to attend one of our OFIR Board meetings as a potential future Board member.

I was thrilled when he agreed to join our OFIR Board and continued to work on the PODL campaign. 

And, even better than that, we're so fortunate that, even after being elected State Representative in District 23, Mike has agreed to still actively serve on our OFIR Board.

Mike has written a telling article for The Oregon Catalyst.

 

 

Vote scraps driver-card law

Measure 88 would have allowed permits for those proving skills, but not legal presence.

Voter rejection of Measure 88 last week scraps a law allowing Oregon to issue four-year driver cards regardless of immigration status.

Legislators passed Senate Bill 833 last year, and it would have taken effect Jan. 1 of this year. But it was put on hold after opponents, with financial help from Nevada businessman Loren Parks, gathered enough signatures to put it to a statewide election.

Voters rejected Measure 88, 66 percent to 34 percent. For the law to take effect, “yes” votes had to prevail over “no” votes.

So the Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division will not implement the law, which would have allowed four-year cards — half the term of a regular eight-year license — to those who passed driving knowledge and skills tests, but otherwise could not prove legal presence in the United States.

Under a 2005 federal law, states must require such proof before issuing driver’s licenses that can be used for federal identification purposes, such as boarding a commercial aircraft or entering a federal building. The law allows states to issue other forms of driver identification, which must be clearly marked.

Oregon lawmakers wrote the proof-of-legal-presence standard into state law in 2008.

Opponents say that a driver’s card would have conferred a privilege on people who are in the United States without legal papers.

The manager of the opposition campaign was Cynthia Kendoll of Salem, who also is president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform.

"Across the board, voters said 'no' to the crazy idea of granting special benefits and legal documents to those who have broken the law to enter our country illegally," Kendoll says. "Voters do not want Oregon to become a magnet for people who break our laws."

Ten states — including California, Nevada and Washington — have or will issue alternatives to driver’s licenses. California’s law takes effect on Jan. 1.

Washington is one of two states that does not require proof of legal presence for driver’s licenses, but it issues an “enhanced” license that can be used for federal identification purposes and travel to and from Canada. Most U.S. citizens must use passports to do so.

Andrea Miller, executive director of Oregon immigrant-rights group Causa, says the defeat of Measure 88 does not resolve the problem of undocumented immigrants without driving permits.

“The need for action is real, and the need continues,” she says. “Measure 88 proved that there is a new and emerging voice in Oregon politics, a proud voice that can bring diverse groups together in ways never seen before in this state. A voice that understands that Oregon is much stronger together than it is apart. And it is one that is here to stay.

"Our communities organized in a way and at a scale we haven’t seen before in this state.”

Oregon can still issue licenses to people with temporary authorization to live in the United States. The license is limited to the authorized stay, not to exceed eight years.

Oregon also can issue licenses to those approved under the federal Deferred Action-Childhood Arrivals program, which defers deportation of those born elsewhere but arrived in the United States as children. They qualify for renewable two-year work permits, and most states — including Oregon — consider them as legally present for purposes of issuing driver’s licenses.

Three-quarters of DACA participants are from Mexico.

Participants have had to have lived in the United States since 2007, and must have been age 31 or younger as of June 15, 2012.

Spokesman David House says Oregon DMV does not keep track of DACA applicants for licenses, but the agency estimated that 16,000 in Oregon would have been eligible to apply for such status back in 2012.

Deep Blue Oregon Votes To Block Drivers’ License To Illegals

Democrats and Republicans in bluer-than-blue Oregon strongly backed a referendum on Election Day to eliminate a 2013 law that would have provided drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrants.

The small band of Republican politicians and activists who put the referendum on the ballot say national Republican politicians should learn that if they oppose amnesty, the public will support them.

On Nov. 4, 66 percent of the state’s voters backed the referendum and eliminated the illegals’ licenses.

Those 908,682 voters included many Democrats who also reelected the state’s Democratic establishment, led by Gov. John Kitzhaber and Sen. Jeff Merkley.

“It is only at the state legislature and at Congress that [illegal immigration] becomes a partisan issue,” said state Rep. Kim Thatcher, who sponsored the referendum, dubbed Measure 88.

“In real life, people appreciate the importance of the laws, and they appreciate people who come here legally and they don’t want to support people who come here illegally,” she told The Daily Caller.

People would come up and say to me, ‘I am a lifelong liberal, but this is going too far. Please let me sign your petition,’” said Cynthia Kendoll, the president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform.

“They were adamant that people who are in our country have gotten way too much and that we’ve got to fix this problem,” she told TheDC.

Since it was first publicized in late 2013, the referendum “polled two-to-one from day one. … That needle didn’t move at all,” said GOP state Rep. Sal Esquivel. ”People are pretty much set … and they want to see their federal government go ahead and take care of the situation instead of moving their lips and doing nothing.”

“Doggone it, a lot of Democrats feel the same way as Republicans,” Esquivel said.

That judgment is backed up by national polls, including recent surveys by Paragon Insights and the bipartisan battleground series of polls.

Measure 88 also helped GOP candidates who championed it, said Esquivel. “People who campaigned on this issue did quite well, an the ones that did not, didn’t do very well.”

The GOP gubernatorial candidate ignored the issue, and lost his race, 600,300 votes to Kitzhaber’s 668,816 votes.

But Rep. Thatcher, a Measure 88 sponsor, won a seat in the state Senate, even though GOP turnout sagged, and the state’s voters increased the Democratic advantage in the Senate from 16:14 to 18:12.

The referendum was also championed by Bill Post, a conservative talk-show host who was elected to take Thatcher’s seat in the state House.

During his campaign, Post won support from the major trade association that backed the award of drivers’ licenses to illegals, the Oregon Association of Nurseries. The association’s member companies use many migrants to plant and trim trees.

In a meeting with the association’s members, “I said ‘No, it’s really simple, you can’t break the law’ … [and] they endorsed me and gave me money,” Post told TheDC. “On 99 percent of the issues, they and I see eye-to-eye,” Post said.

Other employers are investing in machinery instead of relying on migrant workers. For example, the state’s growing win industry had designed its vineyards so that grapes can be harvested by machines instead of migrants.

Measure 88 was so popular that the organizers won with a budget of only $50,000 for the campaign. The group spent only 18 cents per vote to win 35 of 36 counties in the state.

In contrast, Kentucky GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell and his supporters paid 278 times as much, at $50 per vote.

The activists were actually outspent roughly five-to-one by pro-license group, Yes on Oregon Safe Roads.

The pro-license group was funded by the state’s Latino lobbies and immigration lawyers, by Hollywood liberals, and by progressive unions, churches and legal groups. It was also backed by landscaping and agricultural companies who prefer to hire cheap migrant labor instead of investing in machinery. These groups supported the Democrat-drafted 2013 license law because it incentivized more illegals to work and live in the state.

But the business and progressive groups only won the ballot in a single district, Portland, by a narrow 55-to-45 split.

“Moscow on the Willamette is very liberal, very left wing. … We didn’t even campaign there,” said spokesman Jim Ludwick, communications director at Oregonians for Immigration Reform.

The referendum’s backers tried to avoid any hint of ethnic tension or anti-immigrant attitudes in their campaign.

Instead, they focused their criticism on the unfairness of the 2013 law’s lax treatment of illegal drivers, and the unfairness of the state’s support for companies’ use of low-wage migrant labor.

“Nobody wants to break up families, nobody wants to be the meanie, but we do need to make sure that the people coming to the U.S. contribute and become part of the positive fabric,” said Thatcher, who owns a road construction firm.

“We try to talk about [immigration] in the general sense, because if you get down to specific individuals … you go down a slippery slope, you start denigrating groups based on a few,” Ludwig said.

Many voters were repelled by the 2013 law’s easy treatment of illegals, said Ludwick.

Oregonians must periodically prove their identity with passports and birth certificates as they renew their licenses, but illegals would have been able to get a license by showing an unverifiable “Matrícula Consular” identification document that they can buy from Mexican government officials in Oregon.

That sense of unfairness was also a proxy issue for fear loss of control, said Ludwick. There’s no guarantee that the Mexican ID cards would show the person’s true name, so the process could be gamed by criminals to conceal their identity behind real Oregon licenses said, he said.

“Our sovereignty would be in the hands of the Mexican counsel general’s office,” he said. “They would be the adjudicator of who could stay in the country.”

Voters were also concerned about the impact of illegals on jobs, said Ludwick.

“When we talked about jobs we simply said this — wages are flat, there’s been no increase in wages, millions of Americans are out work and millions are underemployed,” Ludwick said.

People understand that “if you have an oversupply of labor, wages are going to be suppressed,” he said.

“Our economy is in mess, we don’t have jobs” outside Portland, said Post.

People don’t want to blame immigration or immigrants for the problems, but they would talk around the issue of immigration’s impact on jobs, Ludwick said. For example, one woman whom he said she would support the referendum because her two sons couldn’t find good jobs. “One is living at home, and one is sharing an apartment, trying to get on a substitute teacher, the [first] one went back to school because he can’t get a job in his field,” Ludwick said.

But those fairness and jobs issues, however true, important and civic-minded, were also proxy issues for the public’s deeper concerns about the impact of large-scale immigration on their communities, Ludwick said.

“One of the biggest things that’s not really addressed is that the U.S. is so welcoming, and we just keep giving and giving, and we keep including so many people at great cost to us, our society, to our pocket book, to our unemployment,” said Kendoll.

“We’re getting to that tipping point. … People are saying ‘Wait a minute, this is just too much,’” she said.

“It’s the numbers,” Ludwick said, citing the annual arrival of one million legal immigrants, 650,000 guest-workers and many illegal immigrants, who seek jobs sought by the four million Americans who enter the workforce each year.

“It is not that every migrant is bad. … It is that we can’t accommodate all the world’s poor and underprivileged,” he said.

Despite their huge victory in blue Oregon, the Oregon GOP members and activists haven’t gotten any calls from the national GOP apparatus.

“Not a single solitary one,” said Kendoll.

TheDC asked for a comment from Rep. Greg Walden, the sole Republican House member in Oregon, and the chairman of the committee panel that helps GOP legislators win elections.

“Greg opposes amnesty, voted against the drivers’ license referendum, and was glad to see it defeated overwhelmingly,” said a statement from Walden’s press aide, Andrew Malcolm. “In his many town halls and other meetings in Oregon, Greg has heard strong support for securing the border and fixing our broken immigration system,” Malcolm said.

Many Oregon employers hire foreign college grads in place of Americans.

The lesson from Oregon’s referendum is that Washington politicians “should stand up, and yes it would help [the Oregon GOP] because people will start to recognize that the Republicans actually can provide leadership,” said Thatcher.

“If they could stand up, they could pull a lot of people from all parties to recognize at least that part of the GOP as a positive thing, and say, may be the Republicans have backbone after all.”

By pushing his amnesty plan, Obama isn’t learning the lessons that voters are teaching, said Esquivel. “It seems like he would have learned from the last election, but obviously he didn’t. … He keeps taking a meat cleaver and putting it into his forehead to see if it hurts.”

GOP leaders should “wake up, the people are upset right now,” said Post.

“We have to secure the borders and we have to deal with this immigration issue,” he said. “Right now, the wind is at their back. The Nov. 4 election, it was a red wave.”

Didn't Obama Hear Oregon’s Warning Shot on Immigration?

Will Democrats ever realize that increased immigration is not only bad policy, but a political loser as well?

“We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists” said Thomas Jefferson in his first inaugural. It was a gracious touch, a rhetorical olive branch to his vanquished foes. Too bad he didn’t mean it.

Jefferson immediately went about killing off the party of his longtime nemesis, Alexander Hamilton, while his vice president, Aaron Burr, went about killing Hamilton.

After last week’s midterm election, President Obama and Senate Majority Leader-elect Mitch McConnell offered similar rhetorical olive branches. While it’s unlikely the president and the senator from Kentucky will face off on the dueling grounds of Weehawken, their words of equanimity were about as sincere as Thomas Jefferson’s back in 1801.

In his post-debacle presser, President Obama told the nation “I hear you.” But while the president said all the right things about working with the new Republican reality in Washington, he also offered two thorns for every rose pedal.

Once again President Obama threatened executive action on immigration if “Congress won’t act.”

But Congress did act on immigration. The House refusal to pass the Senate’s 2013 Pathway to Citizenship bill was an action. The Senate bill was rejected as a byzantine mess presenting a logistical nightmare at best and at worst yet another incentive for millions to migrate to this country illegally.

The president and supporters of “comprehensive immigration reform”—Washington-speak for amnesty for illegal immigrants—might not like the action Congress took, but act they did.

On Nov. 4, the American people validated Congress’s action by re-electing anti-amnesty candidates and adding to their numbers. Senate Democrats who supported the immigration bill went down hard: Arkansas’ Mark Pryor, North Carolina’s Kay Hagan, Alaska’s Mark Begich. And when Louisiana holds its runoff in December, Mary Landrieu will likely join the club despite her recent flip on the Keystone XL pipeline and just about every other issue she had previously supported. If the new edition of Mary Landrieu shows up in the Senate, the Republicans win either way.

In Oregon, one of the bluest of blue states, a state ballot measure may be the canary in the coal mine President Obama ignores at his own peril.

Yet, a draft of a 10-point executive order leaked to Fox News indicates the president plans to grant as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants permission to stay in the country by extending DACA immunity (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) to the parents of the so-called DREAMers—kids who were brought to this country illegally by their parents. The president’s action would also apply to the parents of children born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants.

To mute the blowback, action could come next week. The first howl you’ll hear will come from Mary Landrieu, who will have a hard time spinning her way past this one.

If President Obama goes down this road, he will be issuing a slap in the face to Senate Republicans that might not result in pistols at 20 paces, but guarantees a political duel to the death once the new Congress convenes in January.

While issues other than immigration contributed to the electoral disaster inflicted on the president’s party, to turn a deaf ear to the anti-amnesty message delivered at the polls is to deny reality.

Case in point: Oregon, one of the bluest of blue states, where a state ballot measure may be the canary in the coal mine President Obama ignores at his own peril.

On May 1, Gov. John Kitzhaber signed Senate Bill 833, granting undocumented immigrants the right to drive in his state.

But a funny thing happened in the Pacific Northwest: More than 70,000 Oregonians signed a hastily organized petition drive and qualified Measure 88, which would repeal Senate Bill 833, for the November ballot.

Sponsored by Oregonians for Immigration Reform, an anti-amnesty group, the “Save Oregon’s Driver’s License” campaign scored the most significant anti-amnesty victory ever, beating the pro-driver’s license forces 66 percent to 33 percent. It got more votes, in fact, than either Gov. Kitzhaber or incumbent Democratic Senator Jeff Merkely, who both easily won re-election. It even outpolled a successful pro-pot measure.

In total, 941,042 Oregonians voted to deny driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

Does President Obama hear this?

“The public supports a pathway to citizenship” is repeated with the regularity of a metronome by Democrats and the corporatist wing of the Republican Party determined to keep a steady supply of cheap labor flowing into this country. But if you ask the American public a straight up question—“Do you support amnesty for illegal immigrants?”—you get a very different response.

According to an April 2013 ABC News/Washington Post poll, 80 percent of American adults support “stricter border control to try to reduce illegal immigration.” This includes 93 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of Democrats, 83 percent of independents, 74 percent of blacks, and a whopping 61 percent of Hispanics.

Polls are only as good as the poll question, and I’m skeptical of nearly every immigration-related poll. But this can be said with certainty: The public clearly supports a secure border, and it’s impossible to just brush off the Oregon vote.

Then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano assured the nation “the border is secure” before leaving to become chancellor of the University of California. President Obama continues to make the irrelevant claim “the border is more secure than ever.” But the truth revealed itself this year when thousands upon thousands of unaccompanied children simply walked to this country. How secure could the border possibly be if 5-year-olds can penetrate it?

We need meaningful immigration reform and we can get it quickly if only the pro-amnesty forces will separate border security from the pathway to citizenship. Secure the border first, as well as America’s ports, harbors, and especially airports—where one-third of undocumented immigrants enter.

Once the administration has demonstrated effective control of the border, then Congress will resolve the myriad other issues related to immigration, starting with normalizing the status of the millions of DREAMers caught in legal limbo through no fault of their own.

But we’ll never have a solution as long as the two parties try to sell both simultaneously.

In 1986 Congress passed the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, the so-called Reagan Amnesty that promised border security in exchange for a “one time only” amnesty for 3 million undocumented immigrants.

The immigrants got their amnesty and the United States got 12 million to 20 million more undocumented immigrants.

We cherish the notion that this country is a nation of immigrants and understand the American Dream is regenerated by new arrivals from all over the globe. It’s maybe the most American thing of all.

But Americans also overwhelmingly support the rule of law—and understand a nation that doesn’t control its own borders is a nation in name only.

Thomas Jefferson also warned in his first inaugural that not “every difference of opinion is a difference of principle.” But for millions of Americans, the border debate is matter of principle and won’t be burned a second time on the altar of Democratic Party political expedience or multinational corporate profits.

Judge tosses lawsuit over driver’s licenses for Dreamers in Nebraska

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the state of Nebraska for denying driver’s licenses to Dreamers who have received temporary authorization to stay and work in the United States.

The plaintiff suing the state is Mayra Saldana, a 24-year-old Dreamer born in Mexico who has been residing in Nebraska since she was 2 years old. Last years, she was authorized by the U.S. government to remain in the U.S. for a renewable two-year period under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. She was also granted a work permit and a Social Security number.

The latest government statistics show 2,250 Dreamers living in Nebraska have been approved for the DACA program. A total of 521,815 Dreamers have been approved nationwide.

Saldana sued the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles Director Rhonda Lahm in June after the agency denied her a driver’s license even though she had a Social Security number and was authorized to live and work in the U.S. She argued that the DMV policy denying her a driver’s license violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

But on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp ruled that the state had not violated Saldana’s equal-protection rights in denying her a driver’s license.

Smith Camp wrote in her ruling that there was “uncontroverted evidence” that the Nebraska DMV was following the state’s statute and issuing driver’s licenses and state identification cards only to people with a lawful status, as determined by the federal government and verified through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program.

“Saldana is not similarly situated to persons having lawful status in the United States with respect to her qualification for a Nebraska driver’s license, and Lahm has not denied Saldana equal protection of the law,” Smith Camp wrote.

The Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, who defended the state’s denial of driver’s licenses to Dreamers who’ve been approved for the DACA program, praised Wednesday’s ruling.

“We’re pleased the court dismissed the case and recognized illegal immigrants don’t qualify for Nebraska driver’s licenses,” Bruning said Wednesday. “Today’s ruling validates the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicle’s denial of applications from those without lawful status.”

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund represented Saldana in the lawsuit. Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF’s president and general counsel, once referred to the Nebraska DMV’s policy denying driver’s licenses to DACA recipients as a “blatantly discriminatory policy.”

Alonzo Rivas, an attorney for MALDEF in Chicago, is not ready to give up on the case. He is considering other options in response to the judge’s ruling on Wednesday, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

Nebraska and Arizona are the only two states denying driver’s licenses to Dreamers who’ve been approved for the DACA program. Like in Nebraska, Dreamers in Arizona also filed a lawsuit last year, challenging the state for denying driver’s licenses to DACA recipients. That case is still pending in court.


 

Oregonians voted for people and issues, not party lines

Last week's election gave me hope for Oregon.

Not because of the overall results. They were unsurprising.

Rather, I am heartened that thousands of Oregonians voted for individuals and issues, instead of along straight party lines.

If you look at county-by-county election results, you'll see vast differences. For example, Marion and Polk counties voted for Republican Dennis Richardson for governor but Democrat Jeff Merkley for U.S. senator.

Measure 88, which would have made driver cards available to undocumented Oregonians, passed in only one county — Multnomah — and lost overwhelmingly statewide. Meanwhile, Measure 89, the state Equal Rights Amendment, was approved statewide amid support in Northwest, Southwest, Central and Northeast Oregon counties. Measure 90, the open or "top-two" primary, lost in every county.

As for Measure 91, legalizing marijuana, Polk and Marion counties voted against it but it passed statewide. Its support was in the Portland metro area, the coast, and Lane, Deschutes and Jackson counties. The measure barely failed in Josephine County.

I worry about what legalization will mean for Oregon.

But I am reassured that Oregonians displayed individuality and independence on Tuesday.

Other thoughts:

• This election season produced some of the worst-run campaigns I've witnessed.

One was Republican Monica Wehby's ill-fated attempt to unseat the liberal's liberal, Jeff Merkley.

Every candidate, especially a challenger, should learn from Wehby's mistakes:

1. Hire top-notch campaign staff. My sense is that staffers and consultants who understand Oregon do better than outsiders.

2. Know the issues before you even consider running. Wehby displayed a stunning unfamiliarity with most state and federal matters, which was a key reason that the Statesman Journal Editorial Board endorsed Rep. Jason Conger over her in the Republican primary.

3. Have a solid — non-plagiarized — plan for what you would do if elected. That plan must be understandable, significant and pragmatic. Give voters good reasons to vote for you. Opposition to the opponent is an insufficient reason.

4. Practice debating; master the art of debate and of back-and-forth politics, instead of taking criticisms personally. Both Kitzhaber and Richardson generally impressed me in this regard.

5. Expect your personal life to become public, so know your flaws and skeletons and reveal them before your opponent and the media do.

6. Respect the opponent. Set that standard for your campaign staff and volunteers.

By the way, the Merkley campaign's incessant attacks on Wehby bugged the heck out of me. One Merkley aide was even texting me on weekends to complain about Wehby.

• Some pro-Measure 88 campaigners looked down on the opponents, and it showed. The pro campaign got outwitted and outworked. The opponents had dug far deeper into the potential impacts of the driver cards.

• As with other journalists I know, I am basically a-political. I registered with a political party simply so I could vote in primary elections. I cannot afford to get invested in the outcomes, because my job is to deal with whichever side prevails.

So it was surprising to get a nasty, accusatory post-election email from a campaign consultant who's been around long enough that he should know better: Losing one's temper is not the optimum way of building credibility.

Which brings me to this tip, which is suitable for non-election consumption as well: Never put anything in an email that you wouldn't want to see on a billboard.

Or in a newspaper.

More information

To view statewide and county-by-county election results, go to oregonvotes.gov/results/2014G/index.html.
 

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