As veteran immigration patriot and strategist Rick Oltman
has written, “Polls are polls and pols are pols. The ultimate poll is Election Day
.” This year, voters in Oregon are the only Americans with an opportunity to school American pols
on illegal immigration: They’ll determine whether a legislature-passed and governor-signed bill allowing illegal aliens to have “driver cards” will go into effect—or down in flames.
“Down in flames” is the goal of Oregonians for Immigration Reform [OFIR]. They’ve been working feverishly on their “citizens-veto” referendum (Ballot Measure 88) since the instant their Governor John Kitzhaber, a Democrat, signed the driver-cards bill—on May Day, to great fanfare—in 2013.
Although Oregon’s election is totally by mail, the OFIR-ites are working down to the wire on Election Day to encourage their fellow citizens to “Vote NO on 88.” Even as many voters may already have returned their ballots, OFIR has new billboards going up on busy roads around the state. One such billboard (shown above) is in Medford, about ¾ mile southwest of the Rogue Valley Mall. (The billboard is visible to northeast-bound drivers on McAndrews Road as it reaches the railroad overpass, a block east of Sage Road. See map.)
OFIR’s efforts—see their dedicated Protect Oregon Driver Licenses website
for full details—are supplemented by many letters opposed to Measure 88 in newspapers around the state. Here are notable excerpts from several of those letters, all of which are archived on the "News
” page at the site:
It is interesting that the people supporting this bill — wine makers, fruit growers, etc. — are people who employ low-wage, low-skill employees. Could these employees possibly be illegal immigrants? Heaven forbid! But why else would these groups support this bill? For humanitarian reasons — or to avoid having to pay the cost of picking workers up and returning them home?The real reason for this bill should be obvious.(by Jay Burreson, Corvallis, in the [Portland] Oregonian, October 24, 2014)…Maybe the most laughable argument of all is the contention that illegal aliens will drive anyway, and giving them driving cards will compel them to buy insurance thereby making Oregon's highways safer. But who in their right mind thinks people who illegally entered the country and use fake identification to gain employment and leech into government programs will buy insurance?It didn't work in New Mexico or Tennessee. The experience of licenses to illegals in Tennessee was so horrendous they put an end to the program, while Gov. Susana Martinez in New Mexico has been frantically trying to end the insanity of licensing illegals there. A recent poll by the Albuquerque Journal found 75 percent of those polled opposed issuing licenses to illegals. One of the major reasons was the aliens who were supposed to buy insurance did not.Surprise, surprise — vote no on Measure 88.(by Mary Elbert, Grants Pass, in the [Grants Pass] Daily Courier, October 21, 2014)…Your articles about measure 88 are not the views of many Catholics. You are misleading your readers.Immigrants are welcome and are allowed to apply for an Oregon Driver License. Illegal aliens are not. We are a nation of laws. Lawbreakers should be punished, not rewarded. Those who violate our laws don’t deserve special favors. Even Jesus evicted the evildoers from the temple.Vote NO on measure 88. This measure is funded by large organizations that want to take advantage of cheap laborers who work for low wages.My 12 younger siblings and I worked all summer on the farm. All 13 of us are still alive. Our children and grandchildren now, are having a tough time finding jobs. In the 1970s, I picked berries and took my children with me to teach them how to work. Since then Oregon has forbidden young children from fieldwork.As a lifetime 83-year Catholic, I vote no on measure 88.(by Jean Groce, Portland, in the [Portland] Catholic Sentinel, October 20, 2014)
OFIR president Cynthia Kendoll
told me that few of the published “No on 88” letters—and none of the three above—are from members of her organization, even though OFIR-ites are a very active crew. So it’s a matter of individual citizens independently taking the trouble to put their thoughts together and make an argument on an important matter of public policy.
Kendoll also told me that there are frequent letters urging “Yes on 88” but that they tend to simply recycle a few talking points that can be found in the voter-information pamphlets sent to all voters by the state, thus suggesting a letter-writing campaign rather than expression of widespread grass-roots opinion: “Measure 88 will let parents get their children to the doctor!”; “It will now be legal for your neighbors to drive to work!”; etc.
Kendoll has a good riff on the latter argument: “It will be legal for them to get to their illegal jobs!”