To the surprise of few observers, the anti-immigration group Oregonians for Immigration Reform has started a petition drive to undo recently passed Senate Bill 833. If successful, they would deny undocumented residents their recently-won ability to get tested and hold an Oregon driver’s card if they qualify. Two Oregon legislators have signed on as sponsors of the referendum — Rep. Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer) and Rep. Sal Esquivel (R-Medford). The other sponsor is OFIR member Richard LaMountain. Both Thatcher and Esquivel voted against the driver’s card bill, but it passed nonetheless in both chambers of the Oregon Legislature, with large, bipartisan majorities in support. Gov. John Kitzhaber signed the bill May 1 on the steps of the Oregon State Capitol. To force a public vote on the bill, referendum backers will need 58,142 valid signatures from registered voters between now and 90 days after the current legislative session ends.
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