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Pro and Con on Measure 88 — Alternative driver’s license for undocumented immigrants

Maria Stuart has been involved in the Oregon wine industry for almost 25 years and is one of the founders of R. Stuart & Co winery in downtown McMinnville.
Maria Stuart has been involved in the Oregon wine industry for almost 25 years and is one of the founders of R. Stuart & Co winery in downtown McMinnville.
Richard F. LaMountain served as a chief petitioner of the effort to repeal illegal-immigrant driver cards.
Richard F. LaMountain served as a chief petitioner of the effort to repeal illegal-immigrant driver cards.

Oregon November Ballot Measure 88 — Alternative driver’s license for undocumented immigrants

Provides Oregon resident "driver card" without requiring proof of legal presence in the United States


Yes, by Maria Stuart

Here in Yamhill County, we know as well as anyone that Oregon is an agricultural state. I’m extraordinarily proud of what we grow and produce here, and I’m particularly proud of our world-class wines enjoyed around the globe. I am equally proud that ours is a strong community that takes care of its own.

As a winery owner, I know that behind every bottle of Oregon wine is a dedicated and incredibly hard-working group of employees who contribute to our economy and help ensure that this $2.7 billion industry continues to thrive.

Unfortunately, in many agriculturally based industries including mine, too many employees are unable to obtain car insurance so they can drive legally and safely to and from work. These are Oregonians who, like us, work hard and pay their taxes.

As a local employer, this hurts my ability to do business. For years, we have joined other small businesses urging action on comprehensive immigration reform to strengthen our workforce and economy. But over and over again, Congress has failed to act.

We can’t afford to wait on federal action. Our workers are integral to Oregon’s economic backbone, and without them we cannot continue to strengthen and grow. It’s time for Oregon to step up and do what we know is right, in our own state.

Rob and I have chosen to make our lives in downtown McMinnville. We are raising our three children here, and they go to local public schools. So when we talk about people being denied the ability to drive, we are not talking simply about my co-workers, we are talking about our neighbors, our children’s schoolmates and our friends. Not only are they unable to drive safely and work legally, they must make impossible choices, like whether or not they can safely take a sick child or an elderly parent to the doctor or hospital.

That is why I am firmly supporting Measure 88 this November. This common sense approach will allow the state to issue a driver card for qualified applicants living and working in Oregon.

While not a full-on driver license, this limited-duration driver card will allow members of our community to safely and legally get where they need to go, including their jobs, the grocery store, their churches and their schools. To get the driver card, residents will need to:

  • Pass a written test
  • Pass a behind-the-wheel driver test
  • Provide proof of residence
  • Provide proof of identity and date of birth

The result? A driver card will help Oregon residents follow the law and improve safety for other drivers by reducing the number of uninsured and untested drivers on the road. Further, the driver card may not be used as identification for air travel, to enter a federal building, to register to vote or to obtain any government benefit requiring proof of citizenship or lawful presence in United States.

It’s only fair for us to fix this problem and ensure a safe, legal way for all our workers to continue contributing to our economy, to our communities, and to our family farms.

Please join me in voting yes on Measure 88.

Maria Stuart has been involved in the Oregon wine industry for almost 25 years and is one of the founders of R. Stuart & Co winery in downtown McMinnville.


No, by Richard F. LaMountain 

Oregonians should reject illegal-immigrant driver cards with a no vote on Ballot Measure 88.

The first reason: Driver cards would undermine the rule of law supporting all fair and stable societies. And they would reward people who, by their illegal entry into our country, have demonstrated their contempt for such law.

Through their representatives in Congress, Americans have created an immigration system intended to assure, as McMinnville resident Jim Ludwick wrote recently, “a rational, orderly process by which foreigners are admitted to our nation.” To grant illegal immigrants driving privileges, in the words of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), would be to “treat them as if they were lawfully present” and thereby compromise this orderly process, which would, says FAIR, “frustrate the purposes and objectives of federal immigration law.”

Second: Driver cards would attract even more illegal immigrants to Oregon.

How powerfully are illegal immigrants attracted to states offering driving privileges? Consider what Eddie de la Cruz of Hermiston’s Hispanic Advisory Committee told the East Oregonian recently: Illegal immigrants are leaving our state for (in the newspaper’s words) “states where they are allowed to drive to work legally.” If Oregon voters approve illegal-immigrant driving privileges, they will make our state one of the few offering those privileges and thus create a powerful magnet drawing even more illegal immigrants here.

Fiscally, how would more illegal immigrants impact our state? In late 2012, FAIR calculated that Oregon’s then-estimated 170,000 illegal immigrants and their 64,000 U.S.-born children used more than $1 billion a year of state and local government services. But illegal immigrants paid only $77 million a year in state and local taxes. The annual cost to each of Oregon’s U.S.-citizen-headed households: $728. More illegal immigrants attracted by driver cards would mean more money extracted from Oregon taxpayers to fund the services those illegal immigrants and their children use.

And third: Today in Oregon, according to the state Employment Department, more than 200,000 U.S. citizens and legal residents either are jobless or “involuntary part-time workers.” Concurrently, FAIR has estimated, more than 120,000 illegal immigrants may hold Oregon jobs. Driver cards would better enable illegal immigrants to take and keep those jobs.

Overwhelmingly, illegal immigrants take lower-wage jobs in fields like food services, construction, building maintenance and groundskeeping — jobs occupied disproportionately by young, minority and low-skilled Americans. For many of these Americans, such jobs provide their families’ main support; for others, crucial supplemental income. For youths new to the job market, they provide experience in adult responsibility. For many of our long-term unemployed, such jobs are the likeliest to offer a foot back into the working world. And far from being “dead-end” jobs, many of them provide the first rung on the ladder to higher-paying supervisory and managerial work.

Americans’ first and foremost responsibility is to their fellow citizens. If, by issuing driver cards, Oregonians better enable illegal immigrants to compete with those citizens for much-needed jobs, they will violate their responsibility — and, indeed, commit a gross injustice against their economically vulnerable fellow Americans.

The choice is clear. Reject driver cards for illegal immigrants in November with a no vote on Ballot Measure 88.

Richard F. LaMountain served as a chief petitioner of the effort to repeal illegal-immigrant driver cards.

 

Comments

listen*up

illegals should not be here period! agricultural employers should be using inmates to do the jobs,there are more than enough prisoners that can provide those services.anyone employing an illegal who commits any crimes on or off work should be held responsible for the crime,it's called aiding and abetting because they are already a criminal by being here illegally.

Sally G

Well said, Maria. We also support Measure 88. Until the broken immigration system is repaired by Congress, we in Oregon must support our neighbors, schools, and businesses.

The economy in Yamhill County, including agricultural, nurseries, construction, and tourism(including restaurants and hotels) depend on the labor of immigrants without documents. Many immigrant workers have lived with their families in Oregon for more than a decade or two. It is important that their children be educated and healthy, and that the family members can get to work.

Measure 88 is a good interim solution. While it doesn't provide full benefits of a driver's license, it does allow drivers to purchase insurance, and ensures that they've passed the tests. That benefits all of us.

Vote YES on 88 for safe roads. Vote yes for the support and dignity of our neighbors who enhance the strength and culture of our communities.

I Am Darren Wilson

Well it's quite obvious what Maria's agenda is. Richard is absolutely correct. Oregonians should reject illegal-immigrant driver cards with a NO VOTE ON Ballot Measure 88. Not only no, but HELL NO! I would however, be in support of issuing them "trip permits" allowing these illegal criminal invaders to legally drive back to Mexico.

ABN Veteran

Between Eric Holder and B. Obama, undocumented (i.e. ILLEGAL) immigrants have more than just a a mere foothold in/on America; they are a cancerous investigation that will eventually kill many, if not all of us true red and blue blooded Americans!

Foreign individuals without legal status to be here have NO BUSINESS being here, period!

We are but beggars of our own demise if we allow this measure to pass.

America is vastly becoming Rome under Obama (Holder, Reid, Feinstein, et al), do we REALLY want to REPEAT that history and become the next greatest nation on earth to FALL from within?

Maryanne

While I do not usually agree with Darren's views, I do 100% agree with his HELL No! vote and agree with ABN vet's statements as well. While most of us are descendants of immigrants, our families did it legally and within the letter of the law. Illegal immigrants are just that: Illegal. Our infrastructure is crumbling from within due to the huge influx of illegals getting benefits most US citizens do not enjoy. Vote no!

MrsBike

I am 100% behind Maria Stuart. Even during the hard times of the economy and unemployment, how many of the native born American unemployed even considered working in the agricultural industry? If my memory serves me right, in the mid-1980's there was a immigration reform bill that passed that prevented foreign workers from working in the US. The agricultural community suffered, the crops stayed in the fields. It would be much better if it were a national policy rather than a state by state to protect the states who do implement the policy from being overburdened with an influx of workers. That is not the case; it should not keep us from doing what is right though.

Spongebob

Immigration policy in this country is complex. The driver card issue is simply the lightning-rod-of-the-moment to focus energy and attention on one aspect of it.

I cringe at the use of "illegal immigrants" to describe undocumented people, because it is intended to illicit thoughts of criminal behavior. Being in this country without proper permission and documentation is a civil offense rather than a criminal one - still illegal, but not criminal - something large corporations and financial institutions engage in every day.

I seriously doubt that passing this measure will "create a powerful magnet" drawing more undesireables to the state. The biggest draws are centered around the two primary cost centers of our public budgets: education and health care. As long as we offer these services, at public expense, to any and all who enter, they will come.

This country needs major reforms on many public policy fronts, including immigration, education and health care. Providing driver cards for undocumented workers will not tip the scales one way or the other, but it just might help address some serious public safety concerns.

Sally G

I think most people don't understand just how difficult it is to become a citizen legally if you are from Mexico ( or Central America, or the Philippines.) Unless you are very rich, very famous, or a relative of a U.S. citizen, it is nearly impossible to immigrate legally. If you are married to a U.S. citizen, you might be able to get a "green card" in 2-3 years. However, for most other relatives the wait can be 10-20 years. Currently, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is working on applications from 1995. You might want to take a look at this graph (get out your reading glasses!): http://reason.org/files/a87d1550853898a9b306ef458f116079.pdf

In the meantime, I'm supporting the mother who is needing to drive her 3 kids (all U.S. citizens) to school each day, and the parent who works two jobs to support his/her family.

In full disclosure, my relatives came to the U.S. in the late 1600's and early 1700's, seeking a better future for their children. They had no legal authority to do so, and bought property from someone who had previously scammed the native Americans out thousands of acres.

Federal immigration laws did not begin until 1875 & 1882 when Congress wanted to exclude people from China from immigrating. Immigration law has changed over the years, almost always in a effort to exclude "the other" (Catholics, Jews, southern Europeans, Japanese, Mexicans, Greeks, eastern Europeans, etc.) It a sordid history.

It's time for the U.S Congress to revamp the immigration system so that it works. And it's time for Oregonians to support our neighbors and improve the safety of our roads. Yes on 88.



ABN Veteran

Sally G,

You are wrong on how long it takes for an immigrant married to a US citizen to get a "green card," it's only a year, not 2-3; I know, I sponsored my wife who is a Canadian citizen.

Getting her legal residency was easy and I did it all on my own, no lawyers; I am educated, and it's the undereducated or uneducated that have the problems. That's their problem, not America's problems!

We did it the legal way, and everyone else should just the same; it is a SLAP IN MY FACE and my wife's face to allow ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS a "free pass" to go when it is UNDESERVED, UNEARNED, and UNWARRANTED!

We have increased issues with communicable diseases because of ILLEGAL immigration, and as of today we have our first Ebola case in Texas and as of late, the Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) hopping from one state to the next.

America did not have this increasing problem of chemical and biological infestations until the past 6 years, since Obama took office; what a coincidence, no? Prior to, no problem; since his election, nothing but problems.

This country is no longer a nation born of immigrants, that was 200-300 years ago; generations have past and we are AMERICANS, period!!!!

Immigrants today are a cancer upon us who DO NOT want to assimilate and take advantage of the opportunities of the past to be Americans; they want to transform America into the crappy place they left behind.

Gangs, ghettos, drug cartels, human trafficking...that is all we keep getting from ILLEGAL "immigration" over the past 50 years.

I'm voting NO! No free pass, no free ride, no nothing for those who do not come here legally, PERIOD!

Spongebob

"America did not have this increasing problem of chemical and biological infestations until the past 6 years, since Obama took office; what a coincidence, no? Prior to, no problem; since his election, nothing but problems."

Like most kool-aid drinkers, you have no sense of history or fact. You should be embarrassed by your myopic argument of any perceived "coincidence" as to the cause and effect of the problems you list. That kind of truncated reasoning is a bigger part of the problem than any brought on by undocumented immigrants.

Sally G

ABN VET: Length of time for legal immigration is in part dependent on which country one is immigrating from.

I find the rest of your comments offensive, inaccurate, and inappropriate. Enough said.

Self-Leveling

Sally,

Don’t take what ABN Vet says personally. He is equally offensive, inaccurate and inappropriate in all his posts supporting Casey for Sheriff. I hope he is just a vocal supporter and Casey doesn’t have the same party line radical viewpoints.

ABN states immigrants are a cancer. He’s being narrow minded and sounds like he has a cancer in his house if what he says about his wife emigrating from Canada is true. I think it is great he exercises his right to voice his opinion, but it needs to be toned down.

Don Dix

Sally,

Sometimes the less one knows, the louder they scream.....a half-a-grain of salt should do the trick!

JudyAnn

Poor Sally, I'm curious as to why when anyone points out the facts they are offensive, inaccurate and most of all inappropriate. So sad that your obvious liberal views create such divide between reality and wishful thinking. Your comment made about the louder they scream made me laugh out loud. That's how liberals argue, shout them down with rhetoric. And on another note I bet your glad that Mr. Vasquez is STILL sheriff of this county. Have a nice day with your head in the sand.

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