ORIGINALLY POSTED 2008.11.05 10:55 AM: The 2008 Election is over, and the post-election analysis has begun. That includes the presidential race as well as various down-ticket items, and in one of the latter, voters in Columbia County, Ore. have delivered a split verdict on two measures targeting undocumented workers.
- Measure 5-190 was approved with 57 percent voting yes. This is a new law modeled on an Arizona law, but imposed at the county level, making it illegal for contractors to knowingly hire “unauthorized aliens.” Violators could face fines, probation, license suspensions and building permit revocation.
- Measure 5-191 was defeated, with a 60 percent no vote. It would have required contractors to post a 4-foot-by-8-foot sign saying “Legal Workers Only” at the entrances to every subdivision, commercial/industrial development, and minor partition. The measure spelled out other information that also would have been required on the sign.
Opponents of the measures were glad that Measure 5-191 went down to defeat, and they promised to fight Measure 5-190 in court. Columbia County officials analyzed both measures prior to the vote and found that both may have constitutional issues (PDF). “In my opinion, Measure 5-190 has numerous flaws and is unlikely to survive a legal challenge in its present form,” county counsel Sarah Hanson stated.
UPDATE 2008.11.07: Friday morning, the Oregonian published a news article on this very subject. Notable quote: “There’s a lot of frustration on the part of all Americans in terms of how our immigration laws have been enforced,” said Oregon American Civil Liberties Union executive director David Fidanque. “But having local governments stepping in and carrying out what is a federal obligation is not the answer.”