Kitzhaber’s proposed immigration policy puts drivers at risk
10:01 PM, Jun 22, 2012 |
Gov. John Kitzhaber’s proclamation dated May 1 revealed his office would work for the issuance of Oregon driver’s licenses to undocumented foreign nationals in conjunction with his directive requiring the Oregon State Police to accept Mexican matricula consular cards as identification at traffic stops. Those actions pose an unacceptable public safety risk to Oregonians.
During the past six years, far too many Oregon residents within a 70-mile radius of Salem have lost their lives to illegal aliens driving under the influence.
Judyth Anne Cox, 66, of Newberg — a wife and mother of two adult children — was killed Dec. 3, 2007 by Ignacio Merendon-Zerega, a Mexican national illegally in the country. He lived in Woodburn. He had six drunken driving convictions and his driver’s license had been suspended numerous times. He was convicted of manslaughter, assault and felony driving under the influence and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Carma Colleen Smith, 52, of Dayton — a wife and mother of seven children — was killed May 11, 2008 (Mother’s Day) by Leonel Zurita-Loeza, a Mexican national illegally in the country. He lived in Portland.
Possessing a valid driver’s license at the time of his arrest, he was on a diversion program related to drunken driving in Washington County. He was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 16 years in prison.
Oregon’s counties do not have visible borders: neither do they have physical fences of separation when it comes to crimes being committed against Oregonians by illegal alien drunken drivers across the state. Each victim has her or his own story of how life ended violently and prematurely:
– Kimberly McDaniel, 23, was killed by Mexican national Rosendo Rosales-Corona in Multnomah County on July 15, 2006.
– Justin Daniel Dougherty, age 23, was killed by Mexican national Eduardo Gutierrez in Lane County on March 4, 2008.
– Kay Blaser, 26, was killed by Mexican national Fernando Deanda Moreno in Clackamas County on Oct. 12, 2008.
– Albert Lloyd Rowland, 53, was killed by Mexican national Alvaro Lugos-Ponce in Multnomah County on May 13, 2010.
– John Zupan, 66, founder of Zupan’s Markets, was killed by Mexican national Edy Porfirio Reynoso-Ramirez in Multnomah County on Aug. 30, 2011.
Eventually all of the preceding, if they haven’t been already, will be released from the state prison system. Many will be deported. It is highly likely that some will re-enter the U.S. illegally and return to Oregon because of their familial connections to the state and will attempt to drive again with or without a driver’s license.
Oregon’s governor should realize the Mexican government’s issuance of matricula consular cards to its citizens illegally in Oregon doesn’t come with strings attached that they not have a prior criminal history; moreover, that they have automobile insurance to drive in the state.
Unfortunately for the safety of law-abiding Oregon drivers, the governor’s directive requiring State Police to accept Mexican matricula consular cards as identification undermines current Oregon law, which dictates that only those persons legally present in the U.S. may obtain a driver’s license and drive here.
Kitzhaber should not support or work for the issuance of Oregon driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. Furthermore, he should withdraw his directive that will allow illegal alien drivers to use Mexican matricula consular cards as identification at traffic stops; identification that amounts to a get-out-of-jail or deportation card in some parts of the state.
David Olen Cross of Salem writes on illegal immigration and foreign national crime. He can be reached at email@example.com.