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Advocates launch driver-card campaign

Measure 88 would not require proof of legal presence


A broad coalition has formed to support Measure 88, which would create a four-year driver’s card to encourage drivers to get the proper clearances and insurance.

The coalition includes law enforcement, agricultural and business groups, church leaders, civil rights organizations and labor unions.

Yes on 88 launched its website Monday.

“A driver card is a common-sense way to allow thousands of Oregonians to get to work, church and school while reducing accidents and making our roads safer,” says Ron Louie, former Hillsboro police chief, who was one of the leaders in promoting the legislation.

To obtain the four-year card, drivers would have to meet all driving and other requirements for a regular eight-year license except for providing proof of legal presence in the United States. Among the requirements are knowledge and driver-skills tests, proof of Oregon residency for more than one year, and proof of identity and date of birth.

Measure 88 is on the Nov. 4 statewide ballot. Opponents of Senate Bill 833, which passed the Legislature in 2013 and was signed by Gov. John Kitzhaber, gathered the signatures required to force an election on it.

A “yes” vote Nov. 4 passes the measure; a “no” vote rejects it.

If it passes, Measure 88 would take effect 30 days after the election. Passage would add Oregon to nine other states — including California, Nevada and Washington — with such options.

Among its endorsers are Kitzhaber, the Oregon Business Association, Oregon AFL-CIO, Oregon Association of Nurseries, Locals 49 and 503 of Service Employees International Union, American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, Basic Rights Oregon Education Fund, Causa Oregon and Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon.

Opposed are state Rep. Dennis Richardson, the Republican nominee for governor; Oregonians for Immigration Reform, and 28 of Oregon’s 36 county sheriffs.

The 2005 Real ID Act requires states to obtain proof of legal presence in the United States before they issue driver's licenses that can be used for federal identification purposes. But the law also allows states to issue alternatives as long as they are clearly marked.

Driver cards could not be used for federal purposes, such as boarding commercial aircraft or entering federal buildings. They also could not be used to register to vote or obtain government benefits that require proof of citizenship.

In addition to immigrants and refugees, cards could benefit older people who do not have birth certificates and veterans who can use their military identification papers.

Jeff Stone, executive director of the Oregon Association of Nurseries, says the measure would enable these people to get around safely.

“With no legal way to get to work, take a sick child to the doctor, or travel to help an ailing and elderly parent, too many Oregonians have trouble meeting their daily responsibilities,” Stone says. “Measure 88 will fix that and ensure that all Oregonians have a safe and legal way to get to where they need to go.”

Andrea Miller, executive director of Causa Oregon immigrant-rights group, says: “Tens of thousands of our friends, neighbors and families need this option to get to work, church and school.”

Website:

>www.VoteYeson88.com

peterwong@PortlandTribune.com

503-385-4899

twitter.com/capitolwong


Slight change to description of requirements for driver's card; lists number of sheriffs opposed to measure; activates link to site.