Oregon Bypasses Voters in Granting Driver’s Licenses to Illegals
The Oregon State House voted Tuesday 39-21 to remove immigration status as a requirement for getting a driver's license. The State Senate must still sign off, but this would cement a practice that Oregon's actually done for years.
The bill would not require an illegal to provide proof of immigration status to get a license. This means undocumented persons can freely obtain one. Supporters say this will make roads safer because illegal immigrants will be more likely to take driver's training and submit to driving tests instead of "sneaking around." This will also make it possible for them to carry auto insurance, protecting other motorists. Lastly, illegal immigrants will be less likely to flee police during routine traffic stops for fear of deportation.
Opponents say this only legitimizes illegal immigration, and perhaps removes another way of screening them. It may even make it more difficult for officers to investigate if a motorist has a serious criminal record, outstanding warrants or other issues.
Prior to 2008, Oregon was one of eight states that actually tried this policy, but then rolled it back due to Federal security standards.
In 2013 the idea was put before voters, who soundly rejected this plan by more than 66-percent margin. In an effort to bypass voters this time, the bill will immediately become law if the Senate approves it as "emergency" legislation. Voters won't have any say in it.
Opponents say the bill is ironic because in 2020 Oregon will roll out enhanced security cards required for anyone entering a Federal building such as a courthouse, or board a plane in that state. Opponents ask how illegal immigrants will bypass that hoop?
They also question how auto insurance companies will feel about issuing policies to people whose immigration legality is in question.
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