Driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants: wrong message

Rep Kim Thatcher

by Rep. Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer)

If Senate Bill 833 becomes law, Oregon will join a few other states in granting driver’s licenses to people not legally in our country. Debate on this bill, which passed the state Senate on Tuesday and now moves to the House, is understandably emotional and personal for those seeking the licenses. The same applies to folks who’ve witnessed what happens when driving privileges are extended to the wrong people.

Case in point: Craig and Judy Cox from Newberg. In 1980 the couple and others were in a car hit by a drunken driver in the country illegally. Craig’s bookkeeper was killed; Judy was hospitalized and left with seizures for life. 

Fast-forward 27 years: Another illegal immigrant drunk driver slammed into the Coxes’ car, leaving 66-year-old Judy dead at the scene and 72-year-old Craig a bereaved widower. The perpetrator had six previous DUII convictions and multiple license suspensions.

Obviously, not every “undocumented” person is a drunken driver; however, this case shows what can happen when we give driver’s licenses to people who have already shown disregard for the law. If breaking immigration laws doesn’t matter, why worry about breaking other laws?

Judy Cox’s tragic death happened shortly after then-Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s executive order cracked down on licensing rules “to more effectively prevent fraud and criminal activity.” The 2008 Legislature put the new standards in state law.

Testimony from the Oregon Association of Nurseries, a key backer of SB833, talks about public safety and how loosening rules for obtaining a license would reduce the number of uninsured drivers. The fact is that since the law was changed, the Oregon Department of Transportation says, the “before and after changes in driver licensing requirements show no apparent impact on unlicensed/uninsured driving.”

Advocates also say SB833 would “create more access to job opportunities,” because these undocumented people could legally drive to work. Yet, federal law prohibits employment for people without proper legal presence.

OAN testimony said this bill “helps Oregon residents follow the law by providing their identity,” etc. It seems hypocritical for backers of SB833 to want these people to “follow the law” for licensing, but not for immigration.

Issuing these Oregon driver’s licenses is basically giving people who aren’t here legally state-sanctioned permission to be on our roads and, therefore, in our country.

Supporters say undocumented residents are here anyway, so they should have driver’s licenses. Are they saying it’s OK for some people to ignore some laws but not others? For a free society, citizens need to respect and obey the law.

If we adopt government policies condoning unlawful behavior, aren’t we jeopardizing the rule of law? I understand some are seeking a better life for their families; however, good intentions don’t give people rights to disobey the law by being in the country illegally.

We should streamline the federal process to gain proper legal status. Lawful immigration is great; breaking the law is not. SB833 moves our state in the wrong direction and sends the wrong message.

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Posted by at 07:00 | Posted in Illegal Immigration, OR 77th Legislative Session | 31 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • E

    All you people try to do is look down on immigrants not give them a chance you talk about those accidents like immigrants are the only ones causing them no if those people would have had documents we wouldn’t be talking about them you know people with documents are having accidents all the time too and driving under the influence but once someone is looking to do something for immigrants you find all the negative things about them and talk about how bad it is for them to obtain privelages because i don’t see anything in here saying how if this would come into law there would be new jobs at the dmv and not to mention the expected 5.3 million dollars in revenue for the state if theres 110,000 people that is estimated to get driving cards thats a easy way to bring in money for the state when all these people are driving without license anyways would you rather make the streets safer and have people withe license and insurence or people out in the streets un insured and no license and if you haven’t thought about it once someone gets a license they pay for that people get cars and obviously needs insurence ,gas,oil,tires,etc all generating money for the state business making more dealerships increasing in sales you people need to open your eyes more and think positive not negative all the time being negative will not take us anywhere .

    ps: you know what its like to have friends from school ask you why you don’t have your license and cant drive?

    That’s right you don’t because you haven’t walked in are shoes im tired of all this.

    -“E”

    • GBA

      E seems to not understand E-legal. Suggest this persona allegretto appear as a person of interest localed’ at a boppin’ whackamole’ concession where what borders on entry into the USA.
      After three strikes or more, perhaps, this turkey will get the ‘massage’ there’s a right way to become a fully fledged citizen…contrasted with the bong way of illegal entry invariably registering a single digit salute to the laws of US, our sovereign nation, albeit not in league with La Raza, MEChA and Latino Kings, et al.

    • marvinmcconoughey

      That is some of the worst abuse of the English language that I’ve come across. You are, however, correct that most citizens have not walked in your shoes. Nor you in theirs.

      A bit of research will show that America owes much to its legal immigrants. You should not attempt to put on your shoulders the mantle of greatness that many of our legal immigrants brought to this nation.

      Our laws may be imperfect, but they remain the law and federal immigration laws should be enforced. Border security is one of the oldest and most universal of all duties taken on by national governments. You have every right to apply for legal entry and to apply for subsequent citizenship. I urge you to exercise that right.

    • Francis Pettygrove

      Get out of my country.

    • Ballistic45

      Are you mentally defective “E” ? This nation is made up of immigrants, E pluribus unum Latin for “Out of many, one”.. This nation has a long standing history of welcoming others from other lands… We also have immigration laws on equal with or less stringent than all other nations.. Up until the late 60’s we welcomed approx. 2.5 Million new LEGAL Immigrants to this Nation each year.. This limit worked very well in allowing full assimilation of the new arrivals in finding jobs, housing, schooling and growth of Infrastructure within the USA.. The new Immigrants were proud to be here, worked hard to learn the language and be seen as AMERICANS.. They worked at their studies to become Citizens… AFTER the late 60’s a flood gate of entitlements and Anti-American job protection Laws made it enticing for a FLOOD of Illegal Immigrants to Invade America by the MILLIONS each year … Most are NOT interested in assimilating to our society or culture and an alarming number don’t want to become US Citizens.. They demand RIGHTS while disrespecting the RIGHTS of Citizens to protest against an Invasion of our land that cost more in citizens lives and money than has ALL TERRORIST ATTACKS (Including 9-11) and all those lost in Iraq and Afghanistan COMBINED to date.. These US Citizens loose their lives, Physical and mental health from Illegal Immigrant caused Car Wrecks, Murders, Gang Violence, Rapes, Assaults, Robberies.. Cost of incarceration has Jumped through the roof in housing Illegal Immigrant inmates.. City, County and Federal Cost have driven budgets over the edge in providing Bilingual concessions, Social Services, a growing amount of Entitlements to illegal Aliens.. Many Hospitals along the southern Border have closed do to the cost of providing FREE Maternity services to illegal aliens that ends up depriving Citizens of Hospital availability in their areas.. Our Infrastructure is rapidly wearing out under the burden of a growing population far above any seen in US History.. Yet some Lame brains like YOU would attack those calling for responsible and LEGAL Immigration to our Country…. We have become a Nation of divided groups at odds with each other under the flag of the Liberal Multiculturalism.. We were once a “Melting Pot” of people of all races, creeds, religions with a common goal of being a part of a Family of People embarked on the Greatest Experiment in Government self rule in the HISTORY of Mankind.. Not a Democracy but a REPUBLIC that recognized basic Rights from a Creator trumping Government dictates… As a Nation, we have the right to demand a sustainable Immigration policy that limits numbers to the ability of the country to absorb those arriving LEGALLY… Go Google “Mexico Immigration Laws” then Think for ONCE in you Life…

  • Granola girl

    E-have you ever thought about becoming a legal resident of the United States? If you pursued that avenue you could be here legally, get a job legally, drive legally, etc etc etc. Most Americans do not have a problem with immigration, it’s that you are doing it ILLEGALLY. Why should we reward you and your family? You are correct that not all illegal aliens are drunk drivers and the only ones that break the law. But unfortunately if you look at the statistics there is a large population of illegal persons that are occupying our prison system. I have a few friends from Mexico that immigrated here LEGALLY and guess what??? They have little sympathy for your kind….

    • Steven

      Are you going to tell me that none of these people have a Mexican drivers license? The easiest thing to get in that country besides Montezuma’s revenge? If they did they could get an international license with it. Come on who is paying off these politicians to circumvent Federal law? Could it be the Agriculture industry? Other big industry? It doesn’t make any sense to me and the argument for it smells.

  • JacklordGod

    Open a business and don’t have every single tax form or registration done perfectly and you can expect huge fines. Slap an addition on your house without a permit and you can expect the same.

    Come here illegally and show a propensity to vote Democrat? How can we help make your violation of the law less of an inconvenience to you?

    Any questions?

    • guest

      Legislators who voted for this egregious slap in the face of lawful Oregonian apparently have no sense of memory attending MSCO Deputy Kelly Freidenburg. Fie on recall them!

      http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news,1853821/posts

      • guest

        Fie on the legislative body. Sound “Recall.”

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