Oregon Legislature

UPDATE: SB833 referendum campaign

Alert date: 
May 4, 2013
Alert body: 

We are so energized by the excitement of longtime OFIR members as well as so many new people wanting to get involved to help overturn SB833 by a vote of the people.  We are all outraged that so many Oregon Legislators think that the demands of foreign nationals illegally in our country are more important than what's best for Oregon's citizens and legal residents.

We want to bring everyone up to speed on OFIR filing a referendum on Senate Bill 833.

The OFIR phone line has been flooded with calls and hundreds of e-mails!  OFIR's volunteer board members have been on a number of TV news and radio talk shows all over Oregon this week.  People from all over the state and even some folks from other states have called offering help to overturn SB 833.

Currently we are filling out the necessary forms with the Secretary of States Elections Office.  It is not an easy process.   In addition to a number of other tasks we will be building a new website specific for the referendum, opening a campaign account, organizing committee leaders, etc.  Please bear with us.

A few specifics regarding the referendum process:

We will be filing paperwork of intent, getting approval and getting petition styles approved this coming week.  
 
Then, we will need to gather about 59,000* valid signatures. *We will actually need to collect about 80,000 signatures to offset errors, duplicates, unregistered voters etc.  Accuracy and legibility are crucial to our success.  We've heard stories of opponents attempting to sign petition sheets multiple times using fraudulent names in an effort to have all the signatures thrown out.

We will have ONLY 90 days following the end of the legislative session to collect the signatures we need...but we can start as soon as we get the go ahead form the Secretary of State's office..

The referendum will be the exact same wording as Senate Bill 833.  In essence voters will have the same opportunity as a state legislator to vote for or against giving illegal aliens Oregon driver licenses.

There will be both online petitions as well as the standard 10 lined signature sheets.  We are looking into other options, as well.

We fully expect our opponents to spend alot of money in an attempt to prevent citizens from voting on this important issue.  The pro-illegal alien supporters brought in expensive lobbyists to pressure state legislators to pass SB 833. 

If anyone can contribute financially to OFIR's defeat SB833 campaign it would be most appreciated!  We ask that you give generously to support this project...but please, give only what you can afford.

Just as soon as the referendum forms are available we will let you know so we can all get started. 

The next OFIR meeting is scheduled for 2:00, Saturday, June 1,  at the Best Western Inn in Salem, 3125 Ryan Dr, SE, just west of I-5, Exit 253, across from Costco.  In the meanwhile, you could start making a list of people and places where you could collect signatures.

Invite your friends to join you at the meeting.  We will have all the supplies you need to get started collecting signatures.

We can't do this without you!  As soon as we get our ducks in a row, we will be in touch with all of  you.

Opponents will seek to force election on driver cards

Alert date: 
May 1, 2013
Alert body: 

Hours after Gov. John Kitzhaber signed it today, opponents said they would seek to force a statewide election on a bill allowing four-year driver’s cards to those who cannot prove legal presence to obtain an Oregon driver’s license.

Sponsors would have to gather 58,142 valid signatures and file them by Sept. 26, which is 90 days after the targeted adjournment of the 2013 Legislature on June 28. If the referendum qualified for the ballot, voters would decide the issue in November 2014, although lawmakers could provide for a different election date.

“It’s a huge undertaking, but we do not feel Oregonians have been represented in this building,” said Cynthia Kendoll of Salem, president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, the chief group in opposition to Senate Bill 833. “Our goal is to make certain that people have the opportunity to vote on this.”

The referendum effort does not become official until the secretary of state certifies the process.

SB 833, which Kitzhaber signed at a May Day rally on the Capitol steps, would take effect on Jan. 1 if opponents do not get the required signatures. If they do, the bill would be suspended until the statewide vote.

Other than proof of legal presence in the United States, which lawmakers in 2008 made a requirement of obtaining a driver’s license, applicants for driver’s cards still would have to show proof of identity and date of birth, and pass written and driving-skills tests. Cards would be good for four years, half the eight years for a regular license.

Kendoll said lawmakers took barely one month to consider the bill. It was introduced on April 2, the same day that Kitzhaber signed into law in-state tuition rates for some immigrant students whose parents brought them into the United State illegally as children. That bill can be challenged legally in a suit filed with the Oregon Supreme Court, but House Bill 2787 is not subject to a referendum because an emergency clause is attached.

The House gave final legislative approval to it Tuesday on a 38-20 vote.

Kendoll’s group has launched previous efforts at ballot initiatives, which have a higher requirement for signatures, but none qualified for a statewide election.

Four other states have allowed alternatives to licenses meeting requirements of the federal Real ID Act: Illinois, New Mexico, Utah and Washington. Those alternatives are authorized by federal law, but cannot be used for federal identification purposes, such as entering federal buildings or boarding commercial aircraft.
 

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?”


 

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.
 

Oregon Senate approves ‘driver card’ for immigrants

SALEM — After a three-­minute floor discussion that conveyed none of the often-virulent opposition to the policy, the Oregon Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that would create a new short-term driver’s license, or “driver card,” for illegal immigrants.

Senate Bill 833 passed on a 20-7 vote, with six GOP senators joining 14 Democrats in support. The seven “no” votes came from Republicans but — somewhat unusual for such a high-profile issue — none of them took the floor to explain their opposition. Three lawmakers were excused.

The bill now heads directly to the House floor.

Sen. Lee Beyer, a Springfield Democrat, said SB 833 would allow Oregon to return to a “realistic position” on the driver’s license issue.

No proof of legal residence was required in order to obtain an Oregon driver’s license until 2008, when the state instituted the restriction. Since then, critics of the proof-of-legal-residence requirement have argued that, until the federal government deals comprehensively with changing immigration law, it makes no sense to bar illegal immigrants who live and work in Oregon from getting a license.

Without a license, they can’t buy car insurance. As a result, lawmakers say, many illegal residents drive without insurance.

“This is purely about driver safety ... (so) that we know that our fellow drivers know what they’re doing and, if they have an accident, there’s insurance,” Beyer said Tuesday.

Sen. Chuck Thomsen, a Hood River Republican who co-sponsored SB 833, said that the bill “is not a perfect solution.”

“But in light of the federal government’s inactivity on this subject, it is needed as a stop-gap measure,” he said.

Under SB 833, four-year driver cards could be granted to individuals who can provide proof of identity and of at least one year of Oregon residency. Regular state licenses last eight years.

The new type of licenses would be slightly more expensive than typical Class C licenses, at $64 with a $44 renewal fee. No commercial license would be similarly made available.

The bill states that the driver cards couldn’t be used as identification for non-driving purposes.

If SB 833 becomes law and goes into effect next January, an estimated 110,000 people will obtain driver cards in the program’s first 18 months, generating $5.3 million in new revenue for the state, according to calculations by nonpartisan legislative staff.

After that initial surge, new transactions — both new cards and renewals — are expected to drop to about 41,000 every two years.

To deal with the increased transactions, the Department of Motor Vehicles expects to hire 6 full-time employees and 58 temporary employees statewide, at a cost to the state of $4.7 million for the first 18 months.

As with a new law approved this year that will allow some young illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at Oregon’s public universities, the success of SB 833 appears to indicate a key shift in Oregon’s political landscape.

In addition to traditional support from immigrant rights’ groups, both concepts have garnered more visible backing from business and labor organizations this year, while opposition from some Republican lawmakers has softened.

After Tuesday’s short Senate debate, Cynthia Kendoll, president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, which opposes both policies, said she was “stymied” and “disappointed” that opponents to SB 833 didn’t speak up.

Advocates for illegal immigrants living in this country are “well-organized, well-funded and apparently they’re guiding our legislators to vote” for a bill “that is full of holes,” she said.

In particular, she said, the legislation doesn’t provide enough direction to the Department of Motor Vehicles on how to make the driver cards look different from typical Oregon licenses as the bill requires.

That means lawmakers’ assurances that driver cards won’t be used for other identification purposes will fall flat, she said.

“Republican politicians are being lied to by Democrats, who say, ‘Unless you bow to the demands of Hispanic voters, you’ll continue to lose,’” she said. “But Democrats will ultimately take all the credit for these bills.”

Luis Guerra, a spokesman for Causa Oregon, a primarily Latino immigrant rights group, disagreed with Kendoll’s assessment. The main reason for the success of both SB 833 and the in-state tuition law, he said, was the broad coalitions of stakeholders backing each policy.

“All those voices together make a stronger case than just Causa,” he said.

Guerra acknowledged that politicians have been more open to working with Causa and similar advocacy groups following the 2012 election, but he said that both parties “have stepped up their outreach to communities of color.”

“It’s been a while since we’ve seen this much success at once,” he said.

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.

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

Alert date: 
April 4, 2013
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

 

Who's REALLY in charge?

A recent letter sent to Causa supporters:

On behalf of all of us here at Causa Oregon, we want to thank you for all your work and support. While there are still some big fights to win this year, we have accomplished so much in the first three months of 2013.

With your help, we have forged new alliances with our sisters and brothers in the LGBT, labor, faith, business and education communities. Together, we've harnessed the political power to pass the ten-year-long struggle for tuition equity in Oregon and gained national recognition for our collaborative work in registering new Americans to vote. And, just this week it was announced that Causa, the Act Network and our allies were successful in forcing the Multnomah County Sheriff to end his policy of detaining undocumented immigrants for low-level crimes and non-violent misdemeanors.

It's only three months in to 2013 and together we're already making historyThank you for being a tireless ally in our mission to promote the rights of Latinos and immigrants in Oregon. Together, we are ensuring a healthy, vibrant American democracy.

In Solidarity,

Francisco Lopez
Executive Director

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

I would like to take a moment to address the "successes" listed in the letter:

1.) Causa appears to be a group whose mission is to cause the ruling bodies of our state to CAVE IN to their demands.

2.) Causa appears to be a group that, by hooking up with legitimate minorities with issues, they hope that the public won't notice that they are advocating for the RIGHTS(?) of those in our country illegally. 

3.) Illegal aliens perpetrate crimes in far greater numbers than their 'legal' peers.  Yet, they seem to feel they shouldn't be in jail and that they deserve special treatment from the Multnomah County Sheriff....and he obliged their demand.

4.) The last line was the worst:  Thank you for being a tireless ally in our mission to promote the rights of Latinos and immigrants in Oregon. Together, we are ensuring a healthy, vibrant American democracy.

First of all, Latino's and legal immigrants have rights.  Do Latino's have special rights?  Causa simply chooses to drop the word ILLEGAL from their immigrant vocabulary and hopes that no one will notice.  After all, who doesn't want to help an 'immigrant'?  And, to make matters worse, claiming they are ensuring a healthy, vibrant American democracy is just a LIE!  Here in Oregon, the cost of services to illegal aliens tipped the BILLION dollar mark.

Since when do any of us get to pick and choose which laws we obey and which laws we ignore?  People who come here illegally are breaking immigration laws.   If they work, they are breaking labor laws. If they steal, buy, or borrow a social security number, they are committing identity theft. But, shhhh...don't say anything about that....that's not nice.  They are bringing the culture of corruption from their homeland, right to our front door.

But, all that aside, the thing that bothers me the most, are the lawmakers that are bending over backwards to work with groups like Causa.  That's the most disappointing of all!  Elections are a great opportunity to clear the decks!

Played like a fiddle

It's been a rough month for those of us working to stop the move to legitimize the presence of illegal aliens in our country. Sadly, we lost a 10 year battle against giving instate tuition benefits to students here illegally. We tried to negotiate with both the House and Senate Education Committees and nearly all the Legislators, either in person, by phone or email.

OFIR brought good, reasonable suggestions to the table. But, it was as if they could smell blood in the water and they didn't need to give an inch in any negotiations. Democrats sensed they could ram the bill through with lightening speed without any amendments that would protect Oregon students and Oregon taxpayers.

It was really quite sickening to hear the debate on the Senate floor as several Democrats and even a Republican gushed about giving every opportunity to students here illegally. They made no mention of the fact that these students and their families have likely "gamed the system" for years. They have stolen identities, have been working illegally, maybe even being paid under the table and are likely driving without licenses or insurance. But, aside from all that, the most important point is they are here illegally! When we have elected officials working so hard for the special benefits for illegal aliens, citizens have to wonder what's next!

I fear that we have taken the first step onto a very slippery slope. If our Legislators do not hear utter rage from their constituents now, the next move will be drivers licenses for all...legal, illegal...who cares!

Find out what happened in Tennessee and New Mexico when they started giving driver licenses to illegal aliens. It wasn't pretty!

 

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