House GOP Pushes for Immigration Reform

From House Republican Press Release 5/31:

HOUSE REPUBLICANS PUSH FOR COMMON SENSE IMMIGRATION REFORM; BRING LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE TO HOUSE FLOOR

SALEM”” House Republicans today brought an immigration reform package to the HouseFloor, urging action on bills to fix Oregon’s broken citizenship and residency laws. Democrats rejected votes on HB 3553 and HB 3554, including measures to secure Oregon’s drivers licenses, require proof of citizenship for voting, prohibit the use of tax dollars for employing illegal immigrants, and more.

“Oregonians demand immigration reform, and they expect their state government to take action,” said House Republican Leader Wayne Scott (R-Canby). “House Republicans have an effective agenda for action at the state level. Democrats rejected this agenda, preferring to pass nonbinding resolutions that punt the problem to the federal government.”

House Republicans pushed for votes on HB 3553 and HB 3554, including measures to:

– Require proof of citizenship for voter registration.
– Require proof of legal presence for Oregon driver’s licenses, permits and ID cards, and require ODOT to report those who attempt to obtain these documents through fraudulent means.
– Require the state to implement the federal Real ID Act, and require ODOT to protect the personal information of applicants for driver’s licenses, permits and ID cards.
– Require proof of legal presence for state benefits, and allow state agency employees to report those who can’t provide valid proof of legal presence to federal immigration authorities.
– Directs ODOT to issue temporary drivers licenses to those who are legally present on a temporary basis.
– Prohibit state agencies and businesses under state contracts from hiring illegal immigrants.
– Prohibit the state from awarding economic development grants to those who knowingly employ illegal immigrants.
– Establish tough sentencing laws for human trafficking activities.
– Allow law enforcement to investigate and detain violators of federal immigration laws.
– Allow Oregon district attorneys to transfer illegal immigrants convicted of additional crimes to federal immigration authorities.

HB 3553 and HB 3554 were chief co-sponsored by Rep. Linda Flores (R-Clackamas) and Rep. Kim Thatcher, who have been working on immigration reform since the 2006 interim. Earlier this year, they jointly introduced the Sensible Immigration Reform Package, yet most of the legislation has been blocked by House Democratic leadership.

“Time is running out for common sense immigration reforms,” Rep. Flores said. There are only a few weeks left this session, and Oregon has fallen behind other states that have already enacted immigration reforms this year.

Added Rep. Thatcher, “Congress is failing to act, and with session coming to an end, the Oregon Legislature has a responsibility to fix our laws that allow illegal aliens to obtain state documents, services and benefits.”

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