December 31, 2007
Ramon Ramirez, President, PCUN 503-989-0073
Erik Sorensen, Communications, CAUSA 503-789-8213
What: Press Conference announcing petitions calling for a delay in implementation of new drivers license rules
When: Monday, December 31, 2007 at 11:00 A.M.
Where: Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles Headquarters, 1905 Lana Avenue NE, Salem, Oregon 97301
Today the Oregon Coalition for Public Safety, an ad-hoc group made up of 25 organizations, will hold a press conference in front of the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Headquarters in Salem. Members of the Latino Community and leaders will present DMV officials with over 3000 petitions signed by Oregonians concerned with the implementation of new administrative rules, as set forth by Executive Order 07-22.
Under the Executive Order's provisions announced by Governor Kulongoski last month, the Oregon DMV will limit the documents accepted to get a driver's license, eliminating documents commonly available to immigrants such as the Matricula card and foreign birth certificates. Presently under Oregon law, all residents of Oregon, regardless of legal status, can obtain a driver's license, an important public safety policy.
There are over 120,000 undocumented immigrants in Oregon, many of whom drive on Oregon's roads to get to work, buy groceries, and take their kids to school. Under the Governor’s new rules, these drivers would not be allow to take drivers classes or pass driving tests, will not be able to get insurance, and will be more likely to be involved in a potentially fatal accident.
Since the release of the Governor's executive order, community leaders and organizations from around Oregon have been raising awarness about the potential danger to public safety. Among their concerns is the probability that immigrants affected by the new rules may be still unaware of the changes. During today’s press conference, the coalition will be calling on officials with the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles and Oregon Department of Transportation to delay implementation of Executive Order 07-22 until adequate outreach has been made to inform the most affected population.
The press conference will begin at 11:00 am. For more information on this event, please call Ramon Ramirez, President of Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United) at 503-989-0073.