April 17th, 2014 4:15 pm | by KATE WILLSON News | Posted In: Immigration, Politics, Transportation, Legislature

Oregon Sheriffs Oppose Drivers Cards for Illegal Immigrants


Oregon’s sheriffs have voted overwhelmingly to oppose a ballot measure that would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers cards – and by extension car insurance.

The law, passed last year by the Legislature and originally scheduled to go into effect this year, would allow undocumented Oregonians to use the card to obtain insurance, but not board planes, vote or buy a gun.

Republican representatives Kim Thatcher of Keizer and Sal Esquivel of Medford joined Oregonians for Immigration Reform last spring in launching a referendum to overturn the law. Once the necessary signatures were gathered, the new law was put on hold until voters decide on the November ballot.

Darrell Fuller, general manager of the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association, wouldn’t disclose the names of the his members who oppose the measure. Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton, running unopposed for reelection on the primary ballot, said through a spokesman he abstained from the vote because he didn't have enough information at the time to make a decision.

Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin opposed the bill because he says it simply won’t improve the rate of undocumented people obtaining insurance

“New Mexico has done this for 11 years and the compliance rate was almost zero,” he tells WW. “Once they allowed these cards, the insurance compliance didn’t work.”

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