SALEM — Undocumented immigrants and others who can’t prove they are in the country legally could get a driver’s license under a proposal in the state House.

With less than two months before the Legislature adjourns, though, there has been no action since lawmakers on the Joint Committee on Transportation took testimony on the bill in mid-April. The committee is scheduled to work on the bill in about two weeks.

Supporters say the bill, by allowing drivers who are undocumented to get licensed and to get car insurance, could make roads safer, potentially reducing the number of hit-and-runs by uninsured drivers.

They say that if the bill is passed, undocumented immigrants would no longer need to rely on their teenage children or other people with legal status to get to work or other obligations — especially in the state’s rural areas, where driving long distances is par for the course.

The bill would direct the state Department of Transportation to start offering licenses to people without proof of legal status starting in 2021.

Thirty-six sponsors

The bill has 36 sponsors in the House — more than half of all its members.

One of the bill’s chief sponsors, state Rep. Diego Hernandez, D-Portland, said that’s far from a guarantee that House Bill 2015 will pass.

Hernandez hopes the bill will wind its way from committee, to the budget committees, and to each chamber.

“But we’re running out of time,” Hernandez said. “So anything can happen.”

Sen. James Manning, D-Eugene, another chief sponsor of the measure, said he believes a majority of his Senate colleagues support clearing a path to driver’s licenses.

“I think that the majority of my colleagues would support a safety bill like this,” Manning said. “Everyone has their own bills that they’re trying to move forward, so it’s a bit of a little shuffle ... But I intend to carry this message through and have one-on-ones with people that have any questions about the bill.”

Manning served in the Army for 24 years, a tenure that included stints abroad.

During an interview, he held up the driver’s license he obtained while serving in Panama.

“The only thing that this entitled me to or provided for me, was that I understood the rules of the road and I was able to get insurance,” Manning said. “Nothing more, nothing less.”

Manning stresses that the bill is “about safety.”

All people living in the U.S. have to pass tests and get cleared to drive, he said.

“We want to make sure that if you’re here temporarily or long term and you’re going to navigate our roads, we want to make sure that you’re properly licensed,” Manning said. “And again, getting a driver’s license is a privilege, it’s not a right. Because you’re an American citizen, that doesn’t mean you have the right to drive. You have to prove that you qualify to drive.”

Causa, an immigrants’ rights organization, estimates that up to 100,000 people living in Oregon could be eligible.

The measure wouldn’t impact only undocumented immigrants.

Even U.S. citizens who, for whatever reason, may not have access to documents proving their legal presence would be able to get driving privileges by passing the required tests.

That includes people who are homeless and survivors of domestic violence.

Abusive partners can hold vital records hostage or destroy them, according to Jessica Mathis, a housing coordinator for Bradley Angle, a Portland shelter.

“When survivors are unable to drive, they can’t maintain the jobs they need in order to support their families and leave abuse,” Mathis said in written testimony. “Without the ability to go to work, access social services, or take their children to school they often have to return to their abuser. Having to choose between safety and driving illegally is not only bad for these families, but the community. We are all impacted by the increased safety and financial risk of unlicensed and uninsured drivers.”

Political climate

In late 2007, then-Gov. Ted Kulongoski, a Democrat, issued an executive order saying that people applying for driver’s licenses, driving permits and ID cards in Oregon had to document their citizenship or that they were in the U.S. legally.

Six years later, lawmakers moved to create a special driver’s card program for undocumented immigrants, but opponents sent the measure to the ballot, where voters rejected it.

Supporters of the new bill believe the political environment around immigration has changed in the wake of the 2016 presidential election.

They point to the failure of Measure 105, a ballot measure last November that would have repealed Oregon’s decades-old law that prevents state and local law enforcement for expending resources to arrest people whose only violation of the law is being here without legal permission.

“In the past several years, the context around immigration has changed completely around the country and around our state,” said Iván Hernández, communications manager for Causa. “We saw that with Measure 105 …when Oregonians voted overwhelmingly to protect our immigrant neighbors by protecting the state’s anti-discrimination and anti-racial profiling laws and the state sanctuary law.”

Others, however, have objected to the idea.

Keith Rosenstrater, of Salem, urged lawmakers to reject the measure because it “legitimizes illegal immigration, devalues citizenship and threatens the sovereignty of our state and nation.”

The Oregon Capital Bureau is a collaboration between EO Media Group, Pamplin Media Group and Salem Reporter.

(2) comments


Democrat 2020 Platform & Goals:

-Open Borders.

-Sanctuary Cities.

-Elimination of ICE

-Disarming Americans.


-Voting rights for illegal aliens.

-Pack the courts with radical liberal judges (Like the 9th circuit)

-Increase refugee's from the third world.

-Illegal aliens allowed to hold public office.


-Free Abortions for all (Taxpayer funded)

-The green new deal.

-End of Electoral College

-Free Medicare care for all including non citizens (taxpayer funded)

-Raise Minimum Wage

-Have adolescents vote

-!00% free college for all, including non citizens. (tax payer funded)

-Reparations for every race "harmed" by the white man.

-Convicts, Terrorists voting.

-Susie & Bobby using the same restrooms.

-Late term abortions.

-Pay check for every person in the US even if they choose not to work.

Sources: Straight from the Democrat's mouths.


Keep on rewarding and they will keep coming.


Lets see, we have Democrat / Socialist / Activists in the Northern Triangle of

South America & Mexico; even as you read this instructing the populations

the "benefits" & laws of coming top the USA and to make sure you bring your

children and use the the magic words....."credible fear."

Then you have a Democrat House saying the crisis is "manufactured" as

literally thousands attack our border daily? National Sovereignty is a myth to

Democrats. The crisis is the Democrats themselves. Make

no mistake about this, Democrats want this to happen and never stop.. They

will with hold border security support allowing as many illegal aliens to enter

the country as possible overwhelming our BP & ICE before assisting in border

security (if ever).


To Democrats/Progressives/Socialists (whats the difference?) programs like

Temporary Protective Status (TPS) or Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals

(DACA) are permanent programs. There is nothing "temporary or deferred"

about these programs to Democrats. These programs are designed to admit

refugees (usually from the third world) then Democrats fight to keep them

here permanently using the charge of racism, religion, guilt against anyone

opposed. Simple formula works great.


Besides the costs, It seems Democrats view U.S. citizens as acceptable

collateral damage to their future long range goals of flooding the country with

refugees & illegal aliens and having taxpayers paying the cost. Democrat

politicians and their voters have put families at risk of being victimized by

illegal aliens

The current migration at our border is costing taxpayers a Kings ransom.

Fleeing persecution? or fleeing for freebies? they sure don't stay in Mexico

when they reach "safety" or ask or offered political asylum in Mexico. Why?

because Mexico will give them NOTHING. So they make the long journey to

our border, our generous Democrats, and our tax dollars. Notice how many

have made the long, difficult, dangerous journey to our country 8-9 months


Just a few examples of the more outrageous costs associated with illegal

immigration, we will pass this burden on to our children & grand children as

has been passed on to us.

* City emergency services Taxpayer pay for every police, fire, paramedic

service call for illegal aliens in their city. Taxpayers also pay for all hospital,

emergency room treatments, ambulances, medications....everything. Hospital

wait times for citizens are negatively impacted.

*Cost of educating illegal aliens is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers on

average $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student. This does not include the

millions spent on bilingual ED, instructors, special need children & day care. It

is estimated nearly 100,000 illegal aliens graduate each do the

math. School class size are also negatively impacted by illegal aliens and our

students suffer as a result.

*Taxpayers in some states are funding "in state college tuition" discounts for

illegal aliens. (AZ voted to terminate this taxpayer expense.) Cost to taxpayers

over a billion dollars annually.

*About one in five inmates in federal prison are foreign-born, & more than

90% of those are in the U.S illegally. This does not include local jails and state

prisons. At roughly $24,000 per year expense per inmate.

*$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate, process Illegal aliens in the

criminal justice system.

*$2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on is spent on food assistance programs

such as SNAP, WIC, & taxpayer funded school lunches. Visit youtube search

"cost of illegal immigration."

*Mexico received 33 billion last year in remittance from our country. $120

billion total was sent out of the United States in total remittance last year.

*Every child birth by illegal aliens in the U.S is paid for with tax dollars.In the

US, the average cost to have a baby without complications during delivery, is

$10,808, which can increase to $30,000 when factoring in care provided

before and after pregnancy (July 9, 2018 google.)

* Section 8 housing. Illegal aliens take full advantage of this program. Citizens

& their families in poverty in many cases wait years behind non citizens for

emergency housing.

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