Representative Flores and Thatcher on Immigration Reform

Passing the Buck on Driver’s License Security
in Oregon

Press Release
by State Representative Linda Flores and Kim Thatcher

Oregonians deserve a secure system for drivers’ licenses but it won’t happen any time soon in Salem. Thursday the House and Senate Transportation Committees will discuss the February 2008 “emergency” Legislative Session. The deadline to draft bills is just weeks away, but illegal immigration is not on the radar.

Our prediction for 2008: legislative leaders won’t bring Oregon into compliance with new federal guidelines but they will attempt to issue “driving privileges” to people here illegally. The legislature should do the right thing so our citizens can board airplanes, enter federal buildings and use their drivers’ licenses in other states.
Governor Kulongoski and Democrat lawmakers recently realized Oregon has become a magnet for people without legal presence seeking drivers’ licenses. They now recognize this creates a black market for phony documents, spreads identity theft, encourages drug trafficking and threatens national security. Last weekend, three illegal immigrants were pulled over on I-5 with a half-million dollars worth of cocaine and meth, one of the largest busts
in years.

Memo to the Ds in Salem: “better late than never”. We’ve been pushing for immigration reform for years. In 2005 a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent told legislators due to lax drivers’ license laws, “literally tens of thousands of people were smuggled into Oregon solely for the purpose of obtaining Oregon identification.” Last year the Governor’s State ID taskforce warned the current policies increase “the risk that DMV will issue license and identification cards to people who aren’t who they say they are and that more “˜fraudsters’ will come to Oregon from out of state.” What about the case in Hillsboro where 80,000 illegal immigrants might have acquired Oregon drivers’ licenses and IDs with fake documents?

Since we all seem to understand the problem, it’s time Democrats controlling the Legislature join us for the solution. We hope they’ll implement the updated federal regulations in 2008. So far they’ve passed the buck back to the Governor, expecting his administrative powers to fix everything. DMV has said repeatedly they can’t verify legal status without legislative action.

The Governor now wants a two-tiered approach. It’s insincere for the Governor to launch a new ID theft program and brag about the anti-terrorist drill at the same time he’s pitching a plan to give illegal immigrants a special driving-only certificate. What about his campaign pledge to “ensure nonresidents don’t obtain” drivers’ licenses? Tennessee, one of the only states to try this dual approach, repealed their law because it caused all sorts of graft and corruption.

A secondary license seems irresponsible and sends a mixed message. Law abiding residents would meet a higher threshold compared to those who are breaking the law.

Instead of $15 million in raises for bureaucrats, the Governor could put that money toward enhanced security for our drivers’ licenses and forget about a double standard for illegal immigrants.

We can’t wait any longer. The feds have given states an extension until 2013, but we need to act quickly if we’re going to meet that deadline.

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Posted by at 08:27 | Posted in Measure 37 | 9 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Anon

    It’s curious that House Republicans say they have been pushing for this reform “for years”, since they never passed ANY bills protecting drivers licenses during the 16 years they controlled the House. Who are the Linda-and-Kim-come-latelys to this issue?

    House Democrats, however, passed a bill to implement the federal Real ID act this year: their first session in the majority. Unfortunately, the bill died on the Senate side.

    Cut down on the rhetoric, Reps. Flores and Thatcher.

    • RinoWatch

      ANON

      Bill # please…

      I believe you’ve posted this response on other blogs without providing the bill you refer as having been passed by “house democrats”.

      Thank you!

  • CRAWDUDE

    Democrats control all 3 arms of government in this state……….why is it they couldn’t pass the Real ID Act bill again. You really had to dig to pull your plum comment out of that pie.

    • Crawdude

      http://www.numbersusa.com/index here’s a decent site to keep track of the political manuevering about immigration.

      It will also pointedly report of the multitude of crimes illegal aliens commit nationally. I do understand that we have a huge criminal element of our own in this country, the fact still remains we don’t need to import more to prey upon our citizens.

      If we send them all home to apply legally, we can assess our needs and then implement a guest worker program and increase our legal immigration rates which would be to everyones benefit.

      • CRAWDUDE

        Here’s a good story from the local NPR station in San Diego:

        Eight Detained For Allegedly Stealing Qualcomm Supplies
        Oct 24, 2007

        San Diego Police officials say they detained eight undocumented immigrants today after the suspects allegedly stole emergency supplies for evacuees at Qualcomm Stadium. KPBS reporter Amita Sharma has more.

        Open borders would work so well…..for the criminals!

  • Richard

    Come out and ply Republicans, jut say it we hate Mexicans taking our “entitlements”. Only Americans should have to right to force the entrepreneur and the producer to provide for our welfare we can not have competition for south or the border and will use any lousy excuse like drivers license to drive them out.

    My solution is simle
    Nobody is entitled to the life and produce of others. One is free to trade with whoever they chose

    • Snow

      I couldn’t have said it any better. Our politicians have turned Americans into lazy people. I work hard for my money as I assume you do to or you wouldn’t say what you did. I believe it should be my choice where to spend my money. I believe it is up to hard working americans to help those less fortunate, but not by some politician taking it out of our pocket. I see so many people that are living on the backs of working americans and they just demand more and more.

      Unfortunately that is not the case. We are blindsided by the poor children and the americans that don’t have enough to live as though they were rich. Our representatives really don’t know where it all comes from. Furthermore, they don’t care. Since they all think money grows on trees they should plant a tree for all the people who won’t or don’t work. Then we could go about our lives

    • Anonymous

      Come out and ply Republicans, jut say it we hate Mexicans taking our “entitlements”. Only Americans should have to right to force the entrepreneur and the producer to provide for our welfare we can not have competition from south of the border and will use any lousy excuse like drivers license to drive them out.

      My solution is simple
      Nobody is entitled to the life and produce of others. One is free to trade with whoever they chose

  • Anon

    RinoWatch: The bill number that House Democrats introduced and passed on June 1 to implement the federal Real ID Act was HB 2827.

    You’re welcome!

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