Letter to the Editor – Nov. 22, 2013
Letter from David Olen Cross
Vote against SB 833
After reading the Nov. 15 point / counter-point opinion pieces in the News-Register titled “Should Oregon offer driver cards to undocumented immigrants?” it appears to me Oregonians may need a short history lesson on undocumented driving in the state.
Senate Bill 833, passed by the Oregon Legislature and signed into law on May 1 by Gov. John Kitzhaber, will undermine Senate Bill 1080, legislation passed in 2008 that requires legal presence in the state to obtain an Oregon driver’s license.
Ever since the passage of SB 1080, the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles has been required by Oregon law (House Bill 3624) to provide an annual report on the number of persons driving without licenses or insurance.
In a report filed on Jan. 1, DMV Administrator Tom McClellan declared: “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.”
Answer to the history lesson: Since the passage of SB 1080, there is no documentation available to tell us whether more people legally or not legally present in the state are driving unlicensed and uninsured.
Oregonians should realize by now that there was no real justification for the legislature and governor to make SB 833 state law this year, a law allowing those without documentation to obtain access to an ersatz-driver’s license called a driver card.
Oregon registered voters concerned about the real public safety of the residents of the state should reject the misguided idea that issuing driver cards to the undocumented will make driving on the state’s roads safer. They should vote no on SB 833, referendum 301, when the issue is placed before them in 2014.