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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Legislature Needs to Protect Driver's License Access for All Oregonians

Last Tuesday, an estimated 5000 immigrants and immigrant rights advocates and supporters gathered at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem to protest new driver’s license rules to go in effect on February 4th. The new restrictions will deny driver’s licenses to any Oregon Resident that can’t show proof of Oregon residency and a Social Security number that can be verified with the federal government.

With hundreds of people watching in hearing rooms, nearly 50 individuals representing a range of interests, but all agreeing on the importance of driver’s license access for Oregonians, testified to members of the Joint Oregon State Senate and House interim Transportation Committees.

By the end of the day, the House Transportation Committee voted in favor of introducing a bill to a full vote of the house. If passed, it would require people to show that they are legally in the United States before obtaining, renewing or replacing an Oregon driver's license or identification card. On January 11th, the Senate Committee voted to advance a nearly identical bill to the full Senate.

Both bills will now advance to the legislative session which starts February 4th, when the committees will consider more testimony and new rules adopted by the Oregon Transportation Commission will take effect.

This is a critical time for immigrants in our State and the safety of ALL residents is at stake. Please support your community members, the health of our economy, and safety on our roads by making a phone call and sending a fax, email and letter to Governor Kulongoski, Senator Rick Metsger and members of the Oregon State Legislature. Tell them that they need to stop, or at the very least delay, the implementation of this costly and restrictive driver's license plan that threatens the public safety of Oregonians and the economy of our state.

To contact Governor Kulongoski, please call his office at 503-378-4582, send a fax to 503-378-6827 and/or e-mail by visiting: Senator Metsger can be reached by phone at 503-986-1726 and e-mail at

To e-blast your State Senator and Representative, please use the Oregon State Legislature webform at:

To contact your State Senator and Representative by phone, please call the Capitol Switchboard at 1-800-332-2313 and ask for them by name. The switchboard is open Monday through Friday at 8:00am to 5:00pm so plan to make your calls at that time. If you don't know the name of your legislator, please use the form at

Plan to also be at the State Capitol in Salem on Monday, February 4th from 12:00 Noon to 2:00pm. Our presence is having an impact. We must return and continue to express our support for driver's licenses access for ALL Oregonians. Remember that the public safety of all Oregonians is at stake. YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!

Oregon State Capitol
900 Court Street NE,
Salem, Oregon 97301

For more information contact CAUSA ( at 503-488-0259, Centro Cultural & Washington County at 503-992-0767, and PCUN at 503-982-0243 Ext. 201


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