Opponents of the Oregon driver’s card bill have secured enough signatures to force a voter referendum on the November 2014 ballot. Passed during the 2013 session, the bill directs creation of a four-year Oregon driver’s card (as opposed to the regular, eight-year license) for those who can’t prove legal presence in the United States. It is backed by a bipartisan coalition of business, faith, labor, civil liberties and law enforcement organizations, including the Oregon Association of Nurseries.
The successful signature drive means the bill won’t take effect as originally scheduled on Jan. 1, 2014 — and won’t take effect at all unless voters approve. Backers are prepared, however, to make a strong case for the bill. They say that testing and licensing all drivers will naturally lead to safer roads.
“Oregon needs SB 833 because all drivers need to be able to take a driver test and know the rules of the road,” said Ron Louie, former Chief of the Hillsboro Police Department. “Requiring all drivers on the road to pass a driver’s test and get auto insurance will reduce accidents, make our roads safer, and protect everyone using our roads from preventable injury or financial losses.
The referendum drive in opposition to the driver’s card bill was led by Oregonians for Immigration Reform, a group seeking to reduce both legal and illegal immigration to what it calls “environmentally sustainable levels.” The group has consistently opposed comprehensive immigration reform in favor of an enforcement-only approach.