News Articles, Op-eds, and Letters

Oregon: House Votes to Hijack Ballot Title Process and Confuse Voters
Federation for American Immigration Reform
News article

On Thursday, the Oregon House of Representatives voted 36-24 to pass House Bill (H.B.) 4054, which would hijack the ballot title process established under Oregon law. If enacted, H.B. 4054 would not change the ballot process rules for all time, but instead make an exception to the normal process in just this one instance.

Representatives in the state House moved to change the process only after true immigration reformers and activists in the state were successful at getting a referendum added to November's ballot that would overturn the state's law that grants driver's licenses...

California Driver’s License Program Hits an Unexpected Hurdle
News article

BELL, Calif. — The auditorium was packed. There were single mothers, day laborers, grandparents pushing infants in strollers and teenagers interpreting for parents. All of them faced a potentially life-changing prospect: Within a year, California will start offering driver’s licenses to immigrants who are living in the country illegally.

But one person after another stepped to the microphone and expressed fear that the...

Leave the initiative and referendum process alone

For decades, Oregon’s initiative and referendum process have provided citizens the opportunity to challenge or determine the future of a law passed by their elected lawmakers.

When legislators pass a bill, the people have a window of time in which they can collect a set amount of signatures to refer the law to a vote. Then the citizens, not the politicians, decide if the law is a good fit or not.

In recent years, it seems that process has come under increasing fire, and one current development is particularly troubling.

During the 2013 legislative session, lawmakers...

Overturn the 2013 ‘driver card’ law
The Register Guard

How many Oregonians have renewed their driver’s licenses since Senate Bill 1080 was passed by the 2008 Legislature? I was born in Eugene, have had an Oregon license since 1958 and was shocked at the documentation that’s now necessary to renew a driver’s license.

Now the Legislature in pushing to save SB 833, which allows the state to issue a “driver card” to undocumented immigrants. Go figure. A referendum on the driver card law will be on the Nov. 4 general election ballot, thanks to a number of concerned citizens, but why has the issue advanced this far?

Why doesn’t the...

Legislators try to obscure meaning of ballot measure on driver cards
The Bulletin

It’s a remarkable scenario of legislative overreach.

• The Legislature passed a bill.

• Seeking to reverse that action, opponents successfully gathered signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

• The attorney general, as provided by law, wrote the ballot title.

• Now the Legislature wants to rewrite the ballot title to obscure its meaning.

It’s a bit like the proverbial fox guarding the hen house.

The issue is driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.

The Legislature approved Senate Bill 833 in 2013, granting four-year driver cards for...

Don’t tinker with the title
Legislature shouldn’t reword driver card measure
The Register Guard

Legislators who passed a law last year allowing illegal immigrants to obtain special cards so they can drive legally in Oregon believed they were making the state’s roads safer. Opponents believe the Legislature rewarded lawbreakers by accommodating illegal immigrants, and gathered signatures to refer the law to a public vote in November. In the current legislative session, law­makers should respect that difference in perception and resist the temptation to rewrite the ballot title for the referendum in a way that reflects their own point of view.

Ballot titles are like book covers...

Supporters want ballot rewrite on immigrant driver's license measure
The Bulletin
News article

SALEM — Supporters of a referendum granting driving privileges to people who can't prove they're legally in the United States are trying to rewrite the official summary that will appear on the ballots in November.

The Legislature's language would make no reference to the change in requirements for drivers immigration status, saying only that the measure establishes limited purpose, duration driver card for individuals who prove Oregon residency, meet driving requirements.

In a rare move, the Legislature's action would throw out the ballot title...

The House Rules...

Driver card referendum: House approves rewrite of ballot title
News article

SALEM -- After an hour of debate, the Oregon House on Thursday approved a bill to rewrite the title of a measure on the November ballot asking voters whether to grant driver cards to residents who can't prove they're in the state legally.

Lawmakers propose to change the ballot title to "Establishes limited purpose, duration driver card for individuals who prove Oregon residency, meet driving requirements."

...emphasize residency requirements and remove the reference to "legal presence" in the current version of the title: "Provides Oregon resident 'driver card' without...

Officials look to edit ‘driver card’ ballot title
Measure supporters want no mention of the applicant’s immigr
The Register-Guard
News article

SALEM — State lawmakers on Tuesday gave an initial nod of approval to a bill that would rewrite the ballot title for the November referendum on short-term drivers’ licenses for illegal immigrants.

The effort to change the title has infuriated opponents of the licenses, who gathered enough signatures to suspend implementation of the new license program, passed by lawmakers in 2013, and force the statewide vote this fall.

The current ballot title, drafted by state Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to describe the measure, reads: “Provides Oregon resident ‘driver card’...
Changing initiative language purposefully muddles debate
East Oregonian

Desperate to assure that the driver card bill for illegal aliens (Senate Bill 833) will go into effect this year, several Oregon legislators are trying to change the title of the opposing citizen referral No. 301.

By erasing any reference to legal presence and replacing it with a slogan about road safety, these legislators hope to confuse voters about the referrals intent.

Everyone wants road safety, but nothing in SB 833 provides any, which spurred concerned citizens to march this bill to the voter....  

....the DMV admitted it didn't notice any change in...