By Shelby Sebens | Northwest Watchdog
Faced with collecting 58,000 signatures by Oct. 4, opponents of a new Oregon law that gives driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants and others who cannot prove they are living here legally are sharpening their tactics.
From a drive-through petition drive on Friday to a booth at the Oregon State Fair through Sept. 2, advocates are seeking the thousands of valid signatures needed for a referendum that would challenge a new state law that gives “driver privilege cards” to those who do not have the documents required to get a driver’s license. The driver’s card will be restricted from being used for identification or voting.
But advocates with Oregonians for Immigration Reform say the new law, which goes into effect in January, is a way for people living here illegally to get a driver’s license.
Jim Ludwick, communications director for the group, also said despite the restriction, he believes the cards will be used for identification and put into the hands of criminals.
Ludwick wouldn’t say how many signatures the group has collected so far. State law requires them to get more than 58,000 valid signatures within 90 days of the end of the legislative session (July 8) to get to referendum, which would let voters decide if the driver’s cards should be handed out, on the November 2014 ballot.
Ludwick said he’s confident they can do it.
“We have people who come see us and before I can say a word they grab the pen out of my hand and they want to sign,” he said.
State Rep. Sal Esquivel, R-Medford, is expected to make an appearance at the Oregon State Fair booth on Friday. Esquivel was a strong opponent of the legislation, Senate Bill 833, when it made its way through the Legislature.
Gov. John Kitzhaber pushed for the bill and signed it with fanfare on May Day.
Contact Shelby Sebens at Shelby@NorthwestWatchdog.org
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