Guest Editorial: SB 833: Public safety argument for driver’s license law not valid
July 29, 2013, 12 minutes ago • By David Olen Cross
The action by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and the state Legislature on Senate Bill 833, granting some form of Oregon driver’s license to foreign nationals illegally present in the state, passed in part under the pretense that the legislation was a matter of public safety.
But the new law is disconnected from reality, considering the previous dangers illegal alien drivers have posed to Oregonians.
In an annual report filed on Jan. 1 by Tom McClellan, administrator of the Department of Motor Vehicles, he says: “Four years after implementing a legal presence requirement in Oregon, changes in driver licensing requirements have not had a major impact on the rate of unlicensed and uninsured driving.”
Before the passage in 2008 of legislation requiring that drivers show legal presence, the state did issue driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. But that didn’t seem to motivate them, in the name of public safety, to obtain automobile insurance or in some cases even have a valid driver’s license. Here are seven victims whose lives were extinguished violently and prematurely by those illegal present that chose to drive their motor vehicles impaired and recklessly.
Judyth Anne Cox, a 66-year old wife and mother of two, was killed in Yamhill County on Dec. 3, 2007 by Mexican national Ignacio Merendon-Zerega. He had six prior DUIIs. Merendon-Zerega had no driver’s license or insurance.
Carma Colleen Smith, a 52-year old wife and mother of seven, was killed in Yamhill County on May 11, 2008, (Mothers Day) by Mexican national Leonel Zurita-Loeza. He was on a diversion for a previous DUII at the time he killed Smith. Zurita-Loeza had a driver’s license but no insurance.
Justin Daniel Dougherty, a 23-year old single father of one, was killed in Lane County on March 4, 2008, by Mexican national Eduardo Gutierrez-Duarte. He had a previous DUII in 2004. Gutierrez-Duarte had a driver’s license but no insurance.
Kay Blaser, a 26-year old mother of one, was killed in Clackamas County on Oct. 12, 2008 by Mexican national Fernando Deanda-Moreno. He had no driver’s license or insurance.
Barbara Jean Bier, a 52-year old wife and mother of seven, was killed in Polk County on Nov. 21, 2008, by Martin Martinez-Aguilar, who had a driver’s license but no insurance.
Albert Lloyd Rowland, a 53-year old homeless man, was killed in Multnomah County on May 13, 2010, by Mexican national Alvaro Lugos-Ponce, who had no driver’s license or insurance.
John Zupan (founder of Zupan’s Markets), a 66-year old father of two, was killed in Multnomah County on Aug. 30, 2011, by Mexican national Edy Porfirio Reynoso-Ramirez. He had no driver’s license or insurance.
The driver’s licenses of these illegal aliens who possessed them have been revoked or suspended. But their criminal driving history may not prevent them from driving again in the state.
Problematic with SB 833 is the law could allow some of these killers to use a Mexican matricula consular card to re-obtain a valid driver’s license or driver privilege card.
If past history is any indicator, SB 833 is a law that may once again open up Oregon’s highways and streets to the slaughter of its citizens by foreign nationals illegally present in the state.
Oregon registered voters concerned about the real public safety of the residents of the state have a chance through the referendum process to stop SB 833 from becoming state law. Voters wanting to decide for themselves on whether illegal aliens should be allowed to drive in the state should go to the “Protect Oregon Driver Licenses” website (http://www.protectoregondl.org/), download the signature sheet, sign it, and mail it to the referendum’s petitioners.
David Olen Cross of Salem writes on immigration issues and foreign national crime (email@example.com).