drunk driving

Driver’s license bill likely to prevail

SALEM — At the urging of immigrant rights groups, several significant business associations and Gov. John Kitzhaber, lawmakers appear likely to approve a bipartisan bill this session that would create a new short-term driving license for illegal immigrants.

Proponents believe the concept is grounded in realism, allowing a population that already lives and works in Oregon to drive legally and with insurance, until various immigration-related issues are comprehensively addressed at the federal level.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of Oregonians who have a visceral conviction that the policy gives an unwarranted benefit to lawbreakers, encouraging more illegal immigrants to come to the state, and without necessarily making the state’s roads any safer. Those conflicting viewpoints were expressed in full voice at a heavily attended first public hearing Thursday on Senate Bill 833. Although public testimony was limited to two minutes per person, many who had signed up to testify were unable to do so at the two-hour hearing, while those watching the proceedings spilled into at least three overflow rooms.

Mariana Alvarez Flores of Salem said she had taken the day off from her job as a farm laborer to testify to the committee in favor of the bill.

“I don’t like driving without a license, but right now I have no other option,” she said through a translator.

Conversely, Cynthia Kendoll, the president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, said the proposal “is wrong on every level.”

“Just because you can pass a bill, doesn’t mean you should,” she said.

Under SB 833, four-year licenses — rather than the eight-year licenses possessed by most Oregon drivers — could be granted to individuals who can provide proof of identity and at least one year of Oregon residency.

The new type of licenses would be slightly more expensive than typical Class C licenses, at $74 with a $54 renewal fee after four years, although several amendments are being considered that would lower the amounts.

No commercial license would be similarly made available.

Sen. Chuck Thomsen, a Hood River Republican who is co-sponsoring the bill, noted that the licenses, or “driving cards” as they may ultimately be named, wouldn’t allow a holder to register to vote, or to purchase a gun. They also couldn’t be used as a legal form of identification for miscellaneous non-driving purposes, as typical licenses can be, he added.

“This is a very important piece of legislation that affects a lot of ... good people and their families who live here in Oregon,” he said.

Rep. Kim Thatcher, a Keizer Republican, was one of several who testified who cited examples of vehicle accidents involving illegal immigrants.

“I tell you this story not because I think all people without (citizenship) documents are driving around drunk,” she said. But “this is an illustration of what can happen when we issue licenses to people who shouldn’t have them to begin with.”

No further public hearings on the proposal are expected in the Senate. The bill has been scheduled for a work session on Monday, where it could be amended and voted to the chamber floor.

Debate on immigrant licenses gets personal

A two-hour debate Thursday on issuing state driver’s licenses without proof of legal presence got personal for both sides.

Mariana Alvarez Flores, a Salem farm worker and mother of three, told lawmakers in Spanish through a translator she doesn’t like driving without a license but she currently has no other option.

“In my case, I’m unable to take my children safely to their doctor’s appointments, to school and to the babysitter,” she told lawmakers during a public hearing.

By getting a short-term license, under Senate Bill 833, supporters argued it would create safer roads because these drivers would be required to go through training and purchase automobile insurance.

Some Salem residents and lawmakers disagreed, arguing that the bill only condones illegal behavior and would make the state a magnet for illegal immigrants while doing nothing to increase public safety.

Rep. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer, shared the story of Craig and Judy Cox, who were hit twice by drunken drivers she said were here illegally. Judy Cox died in the second accident while traveling with her husband between St. Paul and Newburg in 2007.

“I tell you this story not because I think all people without documents are driving around drunk,” Thatcher said. “But I tell you this story because this is an illustration of what can happen when we issue licenses to people who shouldn’t have them.”

While opponents geared the debate toward immigration, proponents — including the Oregon Farm Bureau, the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association, the Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs and immigration groups — said the bill is merely a matter of public safety.

Applicants would still need to pass the written and driving-skills test and prove their identity, date of birth and residency in Oregon for one year, under Senate Bill 833.

The license, which cannot be used for identification, would last four years.

Sybil Hebb, the director of legislative advocacy of the Oregon Law Center, said the bill would help break down the barriers to poverty by helping low-income people get to work safely.

Victims of domestic violence and the homeless are among people who may not have proof of legal presence, she noted.

Proof of legal presence was required under a 2008 law, which lawmakers passed to comply with the requirements of the federal Real ID Act. The act does allow states to issue other licenses clearly marked as invalid for federal identification purposes.

Other states such as Washington and New Mexico currently issue licenses without proof of legal presence.

The driver’s license bill is not the only legislation that has pitted immigration-rights groups against immigration critics this session. Gov. John Kitzhaber signed into law in April a bill that would allow in-state tuition for students whose parents came to the United States illegally.

Dozens of people signed up to testify on the bill Thursday and the Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee said after the hearing he’s not sure yet if there will be enough votes to move the legislation to the floor.

“I haven’t polled the committee so I have no knowledge of that. We have a few amendments that we need to discuss and see what’s there,” said Sen. Lee Beyer, D-Eugene.

After the hearing, hundreds of immigration advocates from Causa Oregon gathered outside the Capitol.

“Sí, se puede,” they chanted as they pumped their fists in the air.

Translation: Yes, We Can.

Reporter Peter Wong contributed to this report.

Oregon is heading toward failure

Oregon is at risk of demise. What was once a beautiful state full of promise and potential, has become a magnet for foreign nationals that want the option to pick and choose which laws to obey and which to ignore. When our lawmakers and those who benefit from their presence, plot and scheme to advance the agenda of people in our country illegally then our state is doomed. Law abiding, tax paying citizens will take a back seat to rallying mobs of illegal aliens demanding their rights.

I am a lifelong Oregonian and I fear for the future of my state. The culture of corruption that is ruining our neighbors to the south is now making its way to the steps of our Capitol.  The rule of law is what defines a civil society.  Oregon is moving away from that and moving toward failure.  What a shame.

OFIR VP, Rick LaMountain, wrote a thoughtful article about the choices our Legislature is facing.


 

Thursday, April 11 @3:00pm - Say NO to driver licenses for illegal aliens

Alert date: 
2013-04-04
Alert body: 

April 3, 2013 

OFIR members and supporters:

The bill to give illegal aliens a driver license has been unveiled.  

Senate Bill 833. 

Governor Kitzhaber created a pro-illegal group that met behind closed doors and their task was to create a driver license for illegal aliens.  OFIR filed four separate Freedom of Information requests to find out where this secret cabal was meeting and who was attending.  All four of our requests were denied by state agencies.  Now we can see why. 

When you as a citizen go into the DMV to renew your Oregon driver license you will have to prove that you are legally in the United States.  You will have to provide your Social Security number, a real birth certificate or valid passport and proof that you live in Oregon.  All an illegal alien would have to get a special license is to show a Mexican Matricular card and proof that they live in Oregon.  Maybe an Oregon Trail Card will suffice.  

The most important document a Mexican drug cartel dealer might possess is a valid state driver license.  It would enable to them to drive up and down I-5 and sell their drugs. If a state trooper happened to pull them over for a traffic violation, the drug dealer could produce his special Oregon license and the state trooper wouldn’t have probable cause to search his vehicle. 

Oregon ranks fourth in the nation in per capita illicit drug use.  Last year 240 people died of drug over dose, up 20% from the previous year.  More people died in 2011 of drug overdose than were killed (208) driving a car in Oregon.  And now the governor wants to give a special driver license to illegal aliens.  Welcome drug dealers! 

Governor Kitzhaber, (503) 378-3111 ought to hear from you as well as the sponsors of the bill. 

Among the 8 co-signers on the bill:

 

Rep. Vic Gilliam (R-Silverton) (503) 986-1410 Rep.VicGilliam@state.or.us

Rep. Mark Johnson (R-Hood River) (503) 986-1452 Rep.MarkJohnson@state.or.us

Sen. Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay) (503) 986-1705 Sen.ArnieRoblan@state.or.us

Sen. Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River)  (503) 986-1726  Sen.ChuckThompsen@state.or.us

Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena) (503) 986-1729 Sen.BillHansell@state.or.us

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

 

OregonLive.com
Undocumented residents could obtain 4-year driver's licenses under Oregon Senate bill

By Yuxing Zheng, The Oregonian, April 02, 2013

http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/04/undocumented_residents_could_o.html

 

Gov't acknowledges thousands released from jails

The Obama administration reversed itself Thursday, acknowledging to Congress that it had, in fact, released more than 2,000 illegal immigrants from immigration jails due to budget constraints during three weeks in February.

The director of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, John Morton, said his agency had released 2,228 illegal immigrants during that period for what he called "solely budgetary reasons." The figure was significantly higher than the "few hundred" immigrants the Obama administration had publicly acknowledged were released under the budget-savings process. He testified during a hearing by a House appropriations subcommittee.

Morton told lawmakers Thursday that the decision to release the immigrants was not discussed in advance with political appointees, including those in the White House or Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. He said the pending automatic cuts known as sequestration was "driving in the background."

"We were trying to live within the budget that Congress had provided us," Morton told lawmakers. "This was not a White House call. I take full responsibility."

The Associated Press, citing internal budget documents, reported exclusively on March 1 that the administration had released more than 2,000 illegal immigrants since Feb. 15 and planned to release 3,000 more in March due to looming budget cuts, but Napolitano said days later that the AP's report was "not really accurate" and that the story had developed "its own mythology."

"Several hundred are related to sequester, but it wasn't thousands," Napolitano said March 4 at a Politico-sponsored event.

On March 5, the House Judiciary Committee publicly released an internal ICE document that it said described the agency's plans to release thousands of illegal immigrants before March 31. The document was among those reviewed by the AP for its story days earlier.

The immigrants who were released still eventually face deportation and are required to appear for upcoming court hearings. But they are no longer confined in immigration jails, where advocacy experts say they cost about $164 per day per person. Immigrants who are granted supervised release _ with conditions that can include mandatory check-ins, home visits and GPS devices _ cost the government from 30 cents to $14 a day, according to the National Immigration Forum, a group that advocates on behalf of immigrants.

Morton said Thursday that among the immigrants released were 10 people considered the highest level of offender. Morton said that although that category of offender can include people convicted of aggravated felonies, many of the people released were facing financial crimes. Four of the most serious offenders have been put back in detention. Other people released include immigrants who had faced multiple drunken driving offenses, misdemeanor crimes and traffic offenses, Morton said.

After the administration challenged the AP's reporting, ICE said it didn't know how many people had been released for budget reasons but would review its records.

Fatal Traffic Crash - Highway 22W south of Highway 18

Clifford Fagaly, 69, of Silverton, was pronounced dead at the scene on Highway 22 south of Highway 18. His wife Kerttu Fagaly , 85, of Silverton, was critically injured and taken to Salem Hospital.

Lt. Gregg Hastings, a spokesman for the Oregon State Police, said the crash happened about 6:30 p.m. Saturday in heavy fog and icy conditions, when a westbound 2003 Ford van crossed the center line and collided with a 2000 Toyota four-door being driven by Clifford Fagaly, which was traveling east. The Toyota came to rest in a ditch and the van stopped in the westbound lane, where it was hit by a westbound 2012 Dodge pickup and skidded off the highway into a ditch.

The driver of the van, Marcos Antonio Luz, 41, of Woodburn, was taken to Salem hospital with serious injuries. Authorities say alcohol may have been a contributing factor for Luz.

The driver of the pickup, Lonny Bryant, 51, and passenger Ruthann Bryant, 49, both of Willamina, were taken to Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville for minor injuries.

Seatbelt use information was not available. The highway was closed in both directions for several hours as a result of the crash.

The OSP is investigating the crash.

 MARCOS ANTONIO LUZ - ICE HOLD

Man sentenced in 1995 fatal crash

A man sought for 17 years as the driver in a 1995 fatal car crash in Marion County was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison.Jose Luis Sanchez, 38, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and driving under the influence of intoxicants. Marion County Circuit Judge Gregory Foote sentenced Sanchez to 10 years in an Oregon Department of Corrections prison, one year in the Marion County jail and three years of post-prison supervision.

Sanchez was returned to Oregon in December, almost a year after being arrested on federal charges for illegally entering the United States from Mexico, according to the Marion County District Attorney’s Office. Since being taken into custody in Arizona, Sanchez was held in federal custody and pleaded guilty to federal charges, officials said.

The crash Sanchez was involved in occurred at 1:20 a.m. Aug. 7, 1995, six miles west of Idanha. The car Sanchez was driving went around a curve too quickly and hit several trees, according to the Oregon State Police.

A passenger, Jesus Gonzalez-Sanchez, 22, was pronounced dead at the scene. Sanchez, who was 21 at the time, was seriously injured and taken to a Portland-area hospital. Both men lived in Prineville at the time of the crash.
 

David Cross explains that selective information leads to a misleading report

David Olen Cross tracks and reports criminal alien activity throughout the state and has done so for years.   It's not surprising that he holds accountable those that would pick and choose which information to include in the recent Oregon Commission on Public Safety’s final report to the governor, submitted on December 17, 2012.

How convenient to exclude the most damning information when the Governor's agenda is clear to anyone who cares to look at it.

Read Cross's Guest Opinion, published at registerguard.com
 

Obama’s uncle gets expulsion rehearing

President Obama’s uncle has won a new deportation hearing in Boston immigration court, more than a year after a drunken-driving arrest in Framingham revealed that he had violated a longstanding order to return to Kenya.

Last week, the Board of ­Immigration Appeals granted Onyango Obama’s request to reopen his immigration case based in part on his contention that his prior lawyer was ineffective, according to a government official with direct knowledge of the case. Obama’s new lawyers have also argued that the 68-year-old Obama has lived in the United States for nearly half a century and ­deserves a chance to make his case.

Brian P. Hale — spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is prosecuting the deportation — confirmed that the board has reopened the case but declined to elaborate.

The board’s decision raised eyebrows among immigration lawyers who say it is difficult to persuade the immigration courts to reconsider a case that involves an arrest and a flagrant violation of a deportation order, last issued in 1992.

Framingham police arrested Obama for drunken driving in August 2011, and he later admitted in court that prosecutors had sufficient facts to bring the charge against him. But the drunken driving charge will be dismissed as long as he complies with terms of his sentence, including a year of probation that ends in March.

“With an outstanding order and a legally fuzzy plea, it’s pretty unusual for the board to reopen” an immigration case, said Crystal Williams, executive director of the Washington-based American Immigration Lawyers Association. “It’s not unheard of, but it’s pretty ­unusual.”

Scott Bratton, one of Obama’s lawyers at the Margaret Wong law firm in Cleveland, said Monday night: “We are obviously extremely pleased with the board’s decision. This will allow him to pursue his application for permanent resident status.”

Lauren Alder Reid, the courts’ chief counsel for legislative and public affairs, said she could not comment on the immigration case or say when a hearing would be scheduled because case information is generally protected by federal privacy provisions, unless the immigrant or his representative authorizes its release.

Because immigration court records are generally closed to the public, it is unclear what evidence the board reviewed to support Obama’s claim that his lawyer was ineffective. The government official who provided the reasons behind the board’s decision spoke on condition of anonymity because that person was not authorized to speak to reporters.

However, prior immigration judges’ rulings in Obama’s case obtained by the Globe under the Freedom of Information Act show that the Board of Immigration Appeals criticized his lawyer, Joseph F. O’Neil, in 1992 for failing to file a legal brief to support Obama’s appeal.

“Counsel for the respondent has in no meaningful way identified the basis of the appeal from the decision of the immigration judge,” the board said.

O’Neil, a veteran immigration lawyer and an adjunct law professor, died in 2008. Ralph J. Smith, a former ­associate of O’Neil’s who handled Obama’s deportation proceedings before the appeal, said in a phone interview Monday that he did not remember Obama’s case. But he described O’Neil as a strong immigration lawyer with decades of experience.

“When they say ineffective counsel, that’s something that’s being used just to make an appeal going,” said Smith, now 90 and retired. “It throws the ball over to the other side.”

Obama is the second relative of President Obama to face deportation in the Boston immigration court. The president’s aunt Zeituni Onyango was discovered in Boston’s public housing in violation of a deportation order just before the president won election in 2008. She won asylum in 2010 based in part on the exposure of her case to the public.

On Monday, critics said Onyango Obama appeared to be getting a special deal. Instead of deporting him, which happens frequently to other immigrants with deportation orders, Immigration and Customs released him from immigration detention. He obtained a federal work permit and a state hardship driver’s license, since his own was temporarily revoked, so that he could return to work at a liquor store.

After his arrest, Framingham police said Obama told them: “I think I will call the White House.”

“He would seem to fit the criteria of someone we would want to remove,” said Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which favors stricter limits on immigration. “And yet even in this case the system bends to his will and he gets another hearing.”

The president was not close to his late father’s side of the family, but he wrote about them in his 1995 memoir, “Dreams from My Father.”

But immigration lawyers said the fact that Obama is related to the president could bolster a potential argument that it would be unsafe for him to ­return to Kenya.

“Anyone who’s related to the president of the United States technically is at risk,” said Matthew Maiona, a Boston immigration lawyer.

Obama’s immigration history is a bit of mystery because immigration court files are closed to the public. According to the earlier judges’ decisions obtained by the Globe, an immi­gration judge first ordered him deported in October 1986 because he had no legal basis to stay and no special factors, such as American-born children, that would allow the judge to let him stay.

Onyango Obama came to America at age 17, in October 1963, to study at an elite boys’ school in Cambridge. According to the judge’s decision, he was supposed to have left the United States by Dec. 24, 1970.

Instead, Obama worked from 1973 to September 1984, when immigration officials found him, according to the court’s decision. In 1989, the judge again ordered him deported, and three years later the Board of Immigration appeals dismissed his appeal.
 

Criminal Aliens in State Prisons as of Oct. 1, 2012

According to the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) Inmate Population Profile dated October 1, 2012 DOC indicated there were 14,234 prisoners incarcerated in DOC’s 14 prisons.

Not included in DOC’s October 1st Inmate Population Profile was DOC data indicating there were 1,242 foreign nationals (criminal aliens) incarcerated in its prison system.

All 1,242 criminal aliens incarcerated on October 1st by DOC had United States (U.S.) Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), detainers. The U.S. DHS–ICE is responsible for indentifying whether a DOC inmate is a criminal alien or a domestic inmate. If an inmate is identified as being a criminal alien, at U.S. DHS–ICE’s request, the DOC places an “ICE detainer” on the inmate that directs DOC officials to transfer custody to ICE following completion of the inmate’s state sanction.

Criminal aliens made up approximately 8.72% of the DOC October 1st prison population.

Comparing DOC criminal alien incarceration numbers from October 1, 2007 (985 criminal aliens) and October 1, 2012 (1,242 criminal aliens), the DOC prison system incarcerated 257 criminal aliens more than it did on October 1, 2007, a 26.09% increase.

A review of the 1,242 criminal aliens in DOC prisons by number per county and percentage (%) per county equated to the following: 0-Baker (0.00%), 14-Benton (1.13%), 91-Clackamas (7.33%), 7-Clatsop (0.56%), 2-Columbia (0.16%), 8-Coos (0.64%), 3-Crook (0.24%), 0-Curry (0.00%), 19-Deschutes (1.53%), 5-Douglas (0.40%), 1-Gilliam (0.08%), 0-Grant (0.00%), 2-Harney (0.24%), 7-Hood River (0.56%), 50-Jackson (4.02%), 12-Jefferson (0.97%), 7-Josephine (0.56%), 11-Klamath (0.88%), 0-Lake (0.00), 67-Lane (5.39%), 8-Lincoln (0.64%), 29-Linn (2.33%), 11-Malheur (0.88%), 282-Marion (22.70%), 7-Morrow (0.56%), 286-Multnomah (23.03%), 1-OOS (0.08%), 19-Polk (1.53%), 0-Sherman (0.00%), 3-Tillamook (0.24%), 21-Umatilla (1.69%), 2-Union (0.16), 0-Wallowa (0.00%), 4-Wasco (0.32%), 229-Washington (18.44%), 0-Wheeler (0.00%), and 34-Yamhill (2.74%).

Your listeners should be aware the types of crime committed against their fellow Oregonians by the 1,242 criminal aliens.

A review of the 1,242 criminal aliens in the DOC prison population by numbers per crime and percentage (%) per crime equated to the following: 4-arsons (0.32%), 129-assaults (10.39%), 28-burglaries (2.25%), 28-driving offenses (2.25%), 175-drugs (14.09%), 1-escape (0.08%), 4-forgeries (0.32%), 153-homicides (12.32%), 50-kidnappings (4.02%), 71-others (5.72%), 175-rapes (14.09%), 79-robberies (6.36%), 233-sex abuses (18.76%), 93-sodomies (7.49%), 12-thefts (0.97%), and 7-vehicle thefts (0.56%).

Lars Larson Show listeners should also be aware of the source of the preceding crimes, the country of origin of the 1,242 criminal aliens in DOC prisons.

The self-declared counties of origin of the 1,242 criminal aliens in the DOC prison population by numbers and percentage (%) per country equated to the following: 8-Canada (0.64%), 11-Cuba (0.88%), 17-El Salvador (1.37%), 31-Guatemala (2.49%), 12-Honduras (0.97%), 8-Laos (0.64%), 1,018-Mexico (81.96%), 99-others (7.97%), 6-Russia (0.48%), 14-Ukraine (1.13%), and 18-Vietnam (1.45%).

Beyond the DOC criminal alien incarceration numbers and incarceration percentages, per county and per crime type, or even country of origin, criminal aliens pose high economic cost on Oregonians.

An individual prisoner in the DOC prison system costs approximately ($84.81) per day to incarcerate.

The DOC’s incarceration cost for its 1,242 criminal alien prison population is approximately ($105,334.02) per day, ($737,338.14) per week, and ($38,446,917.30) per year.

None of the preceding cost estimates for the DOC to incarcerate the 1,242 criminal aliens include the dollar amount for legal services (indigent defense), court costs, nor cost estimates to cover victim assistance.

An unfortunate fact, the State of Oregon is not fully cooperating with the U.S. DHS–ICE to fight crime committed by criminal aliens who reside in Oregon.

In year 2007, a United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) report titled “Cooperation of SCAAP (State Criminal Alien Assistance Program) Recipients in the Removal of Criminal Aliens from the United States, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General Audit Division, Audit Report 07-07, October 2007, Redacted-Public Version” identified the State of Oregon as having an official “state sanctuary statute,” ORS 181.850 Enforcement of federal immigration laws.

The USDOJ, the federal governments top law enforcement agency, identified Oregon as a “sanctuary” for criminal aliens.

The State of Oregon should no longer be classified by U.S. federal government law enforcement as having an official “state sanctuary statute” for criminal aliens, nor should Oregon be a sanctuary for criminal aliens to kill, rape, or maim Oregonians.

Report by David Olen Cross, for delivery on the Lars Larson Show, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012.

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