drunk driving

Illegal immigrants who commit crimes face lesser punishment than U.S. citizens

According to Sen. John McCain, a member of the Senate’s Gang of Eight, criminals will not be legalized under the proposed bipartisan immigration bill.

“Anyone who has committed crimes in this country is going to be deported,” the Arizona Republican declared on the Senate floor last week.

However, as Washington Examiner columnist Byron York recently reported, “the bottom line is an immigrant could have more than three misdemeanor convictions in his background check and still qualify for legalization.”

Furthermore, the following chart published June 21 by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a nonprofit organization that opposes liberalization of immigration law, compares the consequences for an array of crimes and discovered that while illegal immigrants might be exonerated and legalized, U.S. citizens and legal immigrants face years of incarceration or temporary expulsion from the country.

The Gang of Eight’s bill would allow illegal immigrants who entered the country before Dec. 31, 2011, and committed up to three misdemeanor offenses including but not limited to assault, battery, identity or document fraud, tax evasion, to remain eligible for Registered Provisional Status. Meanwhile, U.S. citizens and persons who entered the country legally could incur up to $100,000 in fines,15 years of imprisonment, or be prohibited to reenter the country for up to 10 years.

“What it [the Gang of Eight bill] indicates is this is more than just an amnesty, it’s an amnesty for all kinds of violations,” said FAIR’s media director, Ira Mehlman. “We say nobody is above the law, but apparently illegal immigrants are.”


 

Drunk on amnesty

There’s a storm gathering around one of the provisions in the Gang of Eight amnesty bill, but it needs to gather faster, because the amnesty shill are ramming this thing through Congress faster than they’d ever consider moving on a bill that would actually help American citizens – say, by reducing the tax and regulatory burden on the private sector to spur job growth. Anyone who thought Congress was a lumbering dinosaur incapable of swift, decisive action can only marvel at the speed they’re moving on amnesty.

One of the reasons for that speed is that Gang of Eight proponents don’t want the American people to know what’s in the bill – the same way they didn’t want us to read the last bill they passed in a blind haste, ObamaCare. (And look how that’s working out.) If we have time to study the bill, we’ll notice things like the provision that waves drunk-driving illegal aliens right to the head of the line for legalization, ahead of all those poor chumps who have been struggling to legally comply with America’s immigration laws.

Kurt Schlicter blew a gasket over this today, noting that the immigration bill allows three strikes for drunk-driving illegal aliens before the government will even think about deporting them – and even then, deportation can (and will) be waived at the discretion of the bureaucracy.

For the Gang of 8, the choice is clear. If it’s a choice between the lives of your kids and keeping the coalition together behind their immigration reform scam, your kids lose.

Under the Gang of 8’s plan, you can stay in America legally – and become a citizen – even if you are a chronic drunk driver.

Their immigration bill is packed with obnoxious features – the “path to citizenship,” the entitlement giveaways, the utterly toothless “border security” lies – yet this one dwarfs them all in terms of pure, shameful cynicism. That the Gang of 8 is perfectly willing to let American kids (and, for that matter, immigrant kids) die seems like a harsh charge. But conservatives must judge policies not upon the vague, amorphous intentions expressed by their proponents but by their real-world consequences.

The real-world consequence of this immigration reform bill will be more dead kids. Maybe yours.

Mickey Kaus at the Daily Caller noted last week that Senator John Cornyn’s (R-TX) amendment to the immigration bill (which ended up getting defeated) would have barred illegal aliens with misdemeanor DUI convictions from entering the legalization process… and according to Kaus’ sources, that’s a big, but secret, reason the Democrats hated Cornyn’s amendment:

Pro-Gang Democrats (and Republicans) understandably don’t want to publicize their DUI defense. DUI offenders are not an inherently popular group, and accidents in which undocumented immigrant drivers kill innocent civilians tend to be well publicized. It’s not a coincidence that Obama’s executive mini-amnesty of so-called “Dreamers”–issuedbefore the 2012 election–claimed to exclude DUI offenders. But the broader Gang of 8 legislation, written after the election, allows two free misdemeanors–apparently including DUIs–before an illegal immigrant is disqualified. (If you search the Gang of 8 text for “intoxicated,” you will discover only provisions related to “habitual” drunk drivers–defined as “[a]n alien convicted of 3 or more offenses on separate dates related to driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated.” [Emphasis added])

The DUI issue may be a sort of Ninth Planet affecting the immigration debate in a way that’s invisible to most of the MSM’s reporters. It would certainly help explain some of the vehement Gang of 8 opposition to Cornyn’s amendment, which otherwise doesn’t seem all that different from what the Gang has proposed. …

This all seems insane to the casual observer, but it’s actually pretty straightforward: as Kaus surmises, “For the pro-amnesty side, the exclusion of DUI offenders is apparently a deal-killer. There must be a lot of them!” The goal of this bill is to import a new electorate that appeals to the ruling class, and cheap labor for the Big Business types. Rules that would keep a sizable number of applicants from boarding the Amnesty Express cannot be tolerated. A lot of the offenders have families (which they are endangering when they drive drunk, of course.) If the family enters the “pathway to citizenship” but Dad’s a DUI offender and isn’t eligible, what happens to the family? Especially since the family’s application would expose Drunk Driving Dad to detection, and deportation, by the government that hasn’t bothered looking for him until now?

Schlicter relates the story of how he was once on a DUI jury for an obviously guilty drunk driver from Central America, but it ended in a hung jury because “one idiot woman dressed like a flower child’s bad trip” refused to vote guilty, on the grounds that “maybe it’s not wrong in his culture.” Blogger Maetenloch at Ace of Spades notes there might be some truth to that assertion, backed up by an NPR piece from several years ago on the high incidence of drunk driving among young men who have recently immigrated to the U.S. from South America:

While NPR tries to portray the DUI problem as purely situational, the real issue is that in rural Mexican culture drinking-and-driving doesn’t have the same stigma it does here and in fact it’s considered part of machismo to always be able to handle your drink. Which means never admitting you’re too drunk to jump in your truck and drive home.

The end result is that illegal aliens are responsible for a wildly disproportional number of DUI arrests as well DUI-related crashes, hit-and-runs and fatalities. So much so that a special exception has been added to an already generous amnesty bill to keep widespread DUI arrests from gumming up the illegals’ legalization process.

To make the grisly farce complete, Mothers Against Drunk Driving apparently has no problem with leaving illegal alien drunk drivers on the streets. Here’s an example of what immigration politics have helped MADD grow comfortable with, from The Times of New Jersey:

Trenton resident Jorge DeLeon of Elm Street was killed early yesterday morning during a head-on crash with an alleged drunken driver; the accident also seriously wounded DeLeon’s two young passengers, officials said.

The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office has filed charges against the other driver, including death by auto and DWI.

Sgt. Adam Grossman, a spokesman for the N.J. State Police, said DeLeon was driving northbound on Route 29 near the Route 129 exit in a Nissan Quest with a 6-year-old male and a 4-year-old female just before 3:30 a.m. “They were struck head on by a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction,” he said.

DeLeon was pronounced dead at the scene, State Police said.

[...] The other vehicle, a Dodge Durango, was driven by Manuel Gutierrez Vazquez, 27, a resident of the 1500 block of Collins Road in Camden. He suffered a fractured right arm in the crash, and was transported to Capital Health Reigonal Medical Center.

Onofri said Vazquez has been charged with DWI, one count of death by auto, two counts of assault by auto and one count of causing death or serious injury while unlicensed. He also said that Vazquez is not in the United States legally, and has never possessed a U.S. driver’s license.

He also said Vazquez was arrested a few weeks ago in Texas for drunken driving.

Vazquez was released from the hospital and lodged at Mercer County Correctional Center in lieu of bail, which was set by Superior Court Judge Patrick McManimon at $250,000 cash.

That’s only two strikes. Unless there’s more on his record, this guy’s still eligible for amnesty. Of course, the government obviously has no interest in deporting him, even without the Gang of Eight bill.

The entire political class is drunk on amnesty as it drives America toward the guard rails of citizenship, foot planted firmly on the accelerator, screaming “Shut up!” at the frightened passengers in the back seat. The interests of existing citizens are not a factor, in any area from economics to public safety. On the topic of drunk drivers, we should be moving in the opposite direction. Not only should there be zero tolerance for drunk drivers in any immigration bill… how about stripping citizenship from native-born multiple DUI offenders and deporting them?

Attention Registered Voters in OREGON: It doesn't get any easier than this

Alert date: 
June 2, 2013
Alert body: 

Attention Registered Voters in OREGON  It doesn't get much easier than this folks.  An issue dedicated website is now open containing all the information you need about SB 833 and the Protect Oregon Driver Licenses referendum.   The URL is:  http://www.protectoregondl.org/

You can view a complete copy of SB 833 and the single signature petition on the site.

SB 833 signed bill. This is the full bill passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor on May 1, 2013 giving driver privilege cards to illegal aliens.

Petition signature sheet (electronic version). This is a single signature sheet. It includes a summary of SB 833 written in the Secretary of State's office. To sign the petition, simply print this sheet on white paper only - colored paper is not allowed. Then follow instructions on the sheet. Mail signed petition sheets to the address below. Note: Signature sheets are not to be printed out and distributed. They are for personal use only.

The Signature Sheet may appear confusing at first.  It is a standard form used by the Secretary of State for any bill passed on which citizens wish to file a Referendum.  The top section text is supplied by the Secretary of State and identifies the substance of the bill in question.  The bottom section is where citizens send a message, by signing the petition, to the Secretary of State requesting a vote by the people The reference to full and correct copy of the text refers in our case, to SB 833 as passed.

The longer, 10-signature sheets are now available upon request. Please email or call us and let us know how many signature sheets (10 names each) you would like to have sent to you. We need your help collecting signatures.  There are hundreds of opportunities at which to collect signatures in the summer. And remember your friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers may all be interested in participating. 

You can also pick up supplies at many of the upcoming events in which OFIR will be participating.  We will keep you posted!

Many thanks to members for all the enthusiastic, encouraging messages received about this project. 


Protect Oregon Driver Licenses
PO Box 7354
Salem OR 97303

503-435-0141

Send an email to Protect Oregon Driver Licenses

Rep. Thatcher speaks out against SB833

Representative Kim Thatcher, a Chief Petitioner for the referendum campaign against SB833 expressed her concerns about the bill in a just published Guest Opinion.
 

Eenee, Meenee, Mynee, Mo - how Oregon enforces the law

In a recent letter in the Albany Democrat Herald, Steve Lundeberg suggests that there is nothing that can be done about all the illegal aliens residing in our state. He goes so far to suggest that the right thing to do is to provide driver privilege cards so that illegal aliens can get to their jobs and live their lives with less worry.  Isn't that nice.

“The driver’s cards will improve traffic safety and *reduce the number of uninsured motorists on Oregon's roads,” Basic Rights Oregon’s press release said, and that prediction would seem to be a well-reasoned one. 

     *The uninsured driver/unlicensed driver rate has not changed since the 2008 Driver license bill went into effect? 

That’s why SB 833 is a good idea. The main thing it does, contrary to those who fixate on the notion that it *provides a reward for breaking the law, is strive to make all Oregonians’ lives both safer and less costly.

     *SB833 does provide a reward for illegal behavior...a state issued identification in the form of a driver privilege card and the "privilege" to be able to drive to their jobs.  Which brings me to my next point.

The Governor said that illegal aliens need driver privilege cards so they can drive to their jobs, take their kids to the doctor and contribute to Oregon's economic recovery.  

     *The Governor neglected to mention the ONE BILLION dollar price tag to Oregon tax payers for services to illegal aliens.  It's also never mentioned that it's against the law for illegal aliens to work in our state and for businesses to hire them.  The Governor is giving them all a green light, while he simultaneously kicks the 167,000 unemployed Oregonians in the teeth.

There are only a handful of states giving driver licenses to people in the country illegally.  It makes sense that by Oregon doing so, we could actually attract even more illegal aliens to our state.  New Mexico estimated they would issue about 45,000 licenses to illegal aliens, but issued over 80,000 due to fraud.  Is this what we want for Oregon?  If you did your research, you would find that the states that have implemented similar legislation have repealed it or are looking at doing so due to rampant fraud.

In closing, I would suggest that there are multiple things the State of Oregon could do, if they were so inclined, rather than issue driver privilege cards:

OFIR has written several bills for consideration in the Oregon Legislature:

E-Verify is a free, accurate, easy to use program to help employers hire a legal workforce.  Bills mandating the use of E-Verify for both State employers and private employers have never had a hearing.  What kind of business model are we building for Oregon if an illegal workforce has the blessing of the Governor?  Where is BOLI Commissioner Brad Avakian? 

A bill to reduce fraud by requiring proof of citizenship to access services has never been assigned to a committee.

A bill requiring county governments to apply for SCAAP funding to be reimbursed for the millions spent on incarceration costs of illegal aliens is ignored.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.

If the Governor and the Legislature wanted to stem the flood of illegal aliens into the state, there are many things they could do, but they choose not to.  It's clear that the Ag, Farm and restaurant businesses have the Oregon Legislature in their control. Those business owners get the benefit of cheap labor, the politicians slobber for their votes and the Oregon citizen and tax payer gets the bill!  How cozy!

OFIR will work to gather the necessary signatures to put this important issue on the ballot.  If Oregon's citizens think it's a good idea, then it will pass.  More likely, when citizens learn what the Governor and the majority of Legislators are up to, they will overturn the law.

The Federal government, in regards to illegal immigration, may have left the doors open, but Oregon is putting out the welcome mat.

 


 

Please send your personal thanks

Alert date: 
April 30, 2013
Alert body: 

For years OFIR has worked tirelessly to secure Oregon driver licenses by insisting they be issued only to those whom could prove their legal presence in the US.  In 2008 the Oregon Legislature, which, at that time, was dominated by Democrats on both sides of the aisle, passed the current driver license bill with overwhelming support from both sides.  Then Governor Kulongowski had the wisdom to protect Oregonians and the bill was signed into law.

Fast forward five years and witness great legislation passed by a Democrat majority then, unwound by a Democrat majority now, in the name of "public safety".

There were 20 Republicans that stood strong under immense pressure from the bills proponents.  They didn't buy into the line that illegal aliens needed drivers licenses so they could buy car insurance.  They had the insight to see what this bill was really all about and had the courage and the strength to vote NO today.

Please call or email them and thank them for being true Representatives of the people of Oregon.  The Legislators that voted for the bill need to hear from you, as well.

SB833 bill was carried by Jenson and Harker.

Passed.Ayes, 38

Nays (voted no), 20--Bentz, Berger, Cameron, Conger, Esquivel, Freeman, Hicks, Huffman, Kennemer, Krieger, McLane, Olson, Parrish, Richardson, Sprenger, Thatcher, Thompson, Weidner, Whisnant, Whitsett;

Excused, 2--Hanna, Lively.

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?”


 

Keep calling - SB833 vote pushed to Tuesday

Alert date: 
April 29, 2013
Alert body: 

It's difficult to believe that our Oregon Legislature is on the precipice of passing Legislation that will roll back the tough requirements of the 2008 driver license. WHY?

Many Legislators think that by allowing illegal aliens to again get driver privilege cards they are helping...wait...helping who?  They are helping illegal aliens, of course!  Helping them to get back and forth to their...wait...jobs...it is still illegal for them to work in the US, isn't it?

Those Legislators that support this bill clearly have NO respect for the rule of law, for Oregon's unemployed or for the hundreds of victims of illegal alien crime.

The Federal government may have left the front door open, but Oregon is throwing down the welcome mat!  WHY?  The speculation of that question gives me a headache.

Keep calling and tell your Representative to VOTE NO on Senate Bill 833.  Call, call and call again.  Then, email them, too!

 


 

Town Hall with Senator Diane Rosenbaum and Representative Jules Bailey

Alert date: 
April 26, 2013
Alert body: 
Diane Rosenbaum and Representative Bailey will be holding a district town hall on Saturday, May 4th from 10:30-Noon at the AFL-CIO Office. They want to hear about the issues that matter the most to you and look forward to providing an update on the issues we have been working on in Salem.
 
When: Saturday, May 4th, 2013
10:30am-Noon
 
Where: Oregon AFL-CIO Building
3645 SE 32nd Ave
Portland 97202
(32nd and SE Powell - Ample parking on site)
 
Please...plan to attend and ask why the Oregon Legislature has not heard a single bill that would discourage even more illegal immigration into Oregon (mandatory E-Verify, workplace enforcement, proof of citizenship to access entitlement programs etc. and yet work feverishly to pass Legislation that makes it easier for illegal aliens to be here.

A voice of reason at the Oregon Capitol

Rep. Kim Thatcher from Keizer, OR expresses her disapproval of SB833, which would grant driver privilege cards to people in our country illegally.

Read her just published Guest Opinion.
 

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