News Articles, Op-eds, and Letters

Drivers cards not race issue
East Oregonian

On May 16, 2014 the East Oregonian newspaper’s editorial titled “A critical look at a race gone mean” pushed journalism’s ethical boundaries by using the deplorable political tactic of race-baiting against Greg Barreto, Republican candidate for House District 58, a man with a Mexican-German family heritage, to try and influence the outcome of the May 20th primary election.

May 2nd the newspaper’s editorial board endorsed Barreto’s opponent.

Marion-Webster Dictionary defines race-baiting as “the unfair use of statements about race to try to influence the actions or attitudes...

Hispanic heritage proves Barreto isn’t racist
East Oregonian

This is in response to Virginia Garcia’s letter to the editor in the Thursday, May 29th Pendleton East Oregonian, titled “Barreto’s attacks on illegal immigrants shows ignorance.”

During the election campaign Greg Barreto was targeted as being a racist. Most of these attacks stem from a question that was presented to him and John Turner at a forum in Pendleton, which I attended with Greg. That’s right, as Lars Larson would say, “I have a dog in the fight.” At the forum, Morrow County Sheriff Ken Matlack asked what each candidate’s stance was on the driver card law coming up for a...

Fight looms over driver’s cards
The Bulletin - The Associated Press
News article

SALEM — A coalition of groups in Oregon is preparing for what they say could be a heated campaign to approve a ballot measure granting driving privileges to people who can’t prove they are legal residents of the U.S.

Unions, immigrant-rights groups and a hospitality-industry lobby group have started pouring money...

They want voters to approve a measure...called driver’s cards, to people who don’t have documents proving they are in the country lawfully...     

...opponents collected enough signatures last fall to put it before the voters on the November ballot...

Feds reject design of driver's license for immigrants in U.S. illegally
U.S. officials rejected California's design for a driver's l
Los Angeles Times - Politi-Cal
News article

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has rejected California’s initial design for a driver’s license for immigrants in the country illegally, saying it is not distinguishable enough from permits given citizens.

“To satisfy the statutory and regulatory standards DHS recommends that any modifications ... ensure that the license (1) clearly states on its face and in the machine readable zone that it is not acceptable for official federal purposes and (2) uses a unique design or color indicator to distinguish them from documents that meet the standards,” wrote David Heyman,...

Oregon sheriffs organization opposes driver's cards
News article

Polk County Sheriff Bob Wolfe confirmed Friday he was among those 28 Oregon sheriffs who voted this week against Measure 301.

“I don’t believe that is a good bill,” he said. “If people are here legally, they can prove they have citizenship and should be able to get a driver’s license and not a special one.”

UPDATE at 11:30 a.m.

Marion County Sheriff Jason Myers has said that, due to strong opinions on both sides of the issue, he declined to take a stance on the subject of Measure 301.

"The issuance of driver’s cards is a complex topic, with strong feelings on...

State's sheriffs backing defeat of driver's cards
News article

A state organization comprised of elected sheriffs today voted to oppose Measure 301, a November ballot measure that would allow the state to issue driver’s cards to residents who cannot prove their identities.

The Sheriffs Of Oregon Political Action Committee (SOO-PAC) represents 36 sheriffs statewide, and 28 of them voted against the cards, which supporters say would have allowed individuals to obtain insurance and drive legally, making the roads safer for all. The sheriffs’ organization is urging voters to oppose the measure as well.

The bill and ballot measure have been...

Driver card referendum: Oregon sheriffs group opposes measure
News article

The Sheriffs of Oregon political action committee opposes a measure on the November ballot that would grant driving privileges to Oregonians who can't prove they're here legally.

"Offering the privilege to drive to people who are breaking the law makes no sense to those of us who enforce the law," Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin said in a press release...

The group's opposition strikes at the heart of the argument from driver card supporters, who say the cards would improve public safety by allowing Oregonians (illegal aliens) who already drive to be licensed and insured...

Oregon Supreme Court orders ballot title on drivers card to stand
News article

Despite attempts by various parties to change a ballot initiative’s title and alter its summary for voters, the state Supreme Court last week ordered that Referendum 301 be upheld as certified in 2013 by the Secretary of State’s office and named by state attorney general.

Last October, the groups Oregonians for Immigration Reform and Protect Oregon Driver Licenses, submitted almost 60,000 signatures to overturn legislation, Senate Bill 833, that had been passed by lawmakers and signed by Gov. John Kitzhaber earlier in 2013.

The groups opposed the bi-partisan backed bill,...

Tangled web they weave when practice to deceive

The 2013 Legislature created a new driver card for only one reason — to grant driving privileges to Oregon residents unable to prove legal presence in the United States, thus hoping to reduce the number of Oregonians taking to the roads without being licensed and insured. There is only one difference between driver license and driver card requirements in Oregon — the need to prove legal residency in the U.S. in order to obtain a license.

So it should have come as no surprise when Attorney General Ellen Rosenbloom — a Democrat, by the way — adopted the following ballot title for a...

Liquor privatization, marijuana legalization, driver cards could top Oregon ballot in November
The Oregonian
News article

While Gov. John Kitzhaber has brokered agreements to keep initiatives dealing with taxes, unions and hospitals off the November ballot, Oregonians could still face several hot-button measures in the fall...

...they will vote on two big issues already placed on the ballot: drivers' cards for people who can't show they are legally in the state and a measure allowing the state to float bonds to pay for student aid...

Here's a quick look at what is – or may be – on the November ballot:

DRIVERS CARDS: Voters will pass judgment on a 2013 law that would allow people...