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Monday, February 11, 2008

State Legislators turn back on Immigrants, Latino Community

Last Thursday, with over 3000 immigrant rights supporters in attendance, members of the Oregon State Legislature Joint Committee on Ways and Means voted 11-6 in favor of draconian driver’s license restrictions. Senate Bill 1080, which will threaten the public safety of Oregonians and hurt working families and Oregon’s economy, was passed on to the full senate.

Among those that voted in favor of SB 1080 were six Democrats including Senate President Peter Courtney. Courtney, who represents a district with a large Latino and Immigrant constituency, doesn’t actually sit on the Committee for Ways and Means however attended Thursday's work session just to take the vote.

Other legislators who turned their back on immigrants and Latinos in addition to Senator Courtney include:

Sen. Kurt Schrader(D)
Rep. David Edwards (D)
Sen. Betsy Johnson(D)
Rep. Larry Galizio(D)
Sen. Rod Monroe (D)
Sen. Peter Courtney (D)
Rep. Bruce L Hanna(R)
Sen. David Nelson R)
Rep. Bob Jenson(R)
Sen. Doug Whitsett(R)
Rep. Susan Morgan (R)

CAUSA would like to recognize those legislators below who had the courage to stand up for Immigrants, the Latino community and the public safety of all Oregonians.

Sen. Alan C Bates (D)
Rep. Mary Nolan (D)
Sen. Avel Gordly(I)
Sen. Margaret Carter(D)
Rep. Chip Shields(D)
Rep. Nancy Nathanson(D)

In response to the vote taken last week and the one taken in the full senate today, immigrant rights groups will push for the Governor to form a committee of legislators, business people and community members to study the economic and social impacts of the Executive Order and restore driver’s license access to all Oregonians.

In addition, CAUSA and their allies will also launch the largest Latino voter registration campaign in the history of Oregon.


Daniel said...

I don't understand how restricting drivers licenses to legal residents affects the "Latino community" since being Latino doesn't mean you aren't an American citizen or legal resident.

Doug said...

This is aweful what is going on in this state. The Oregon legislature must be out of their minds. What are the democrats doing by caving to the hateful few bigots that call themselves Oregonians. This new law is going to surely drive the cost to taxpayers up on licenses and law enforcement. Insurance rates are going to climb, not to mention the danger for the people driving unlicensed on the roads to get to work so they can pay taxes to the crooks that took the licenses away in the first place. Welcome to Oregon where the legislators are dumber than rocks.

CAUSA Communications Department said...

The issue around restricting driver’s licenses has produced a tidal wave of response from Oregon’s Latino community. Nationwide, as in Oregon, Latinos regardless of status have been responding to these types of restrictive laws that target immigrants.

These battles around immigration have become an issue not just about undocumented immigrants, or even for legal immigrants. Latinos, who have been in this country for many generations, are finding themselves attacked and scapegoated, being told they don’t belong in the United States. From the explicit racist hate talk radio, anti-immigrant websites and television targeting Latinos on a daily basis, to anti-immigrant ordinances and laws, the community has been responding very loudly.

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