Immigrant Rights Groups Denounce Governor Kulongoski’s Executive Order

The drivers license issue isn’t unique to New York. Oregon is going through a similar, yet opposite, battle. In New York it wasn’t until 2002 that George Pataki put the social security requirement on obtaining drivers licenses.

In 2002, then-Governor George Pataki instituted a requirement that all driver’s license applicants provide a social security number to prove their immigration status. Government officials estimate that approximately 500,000 New Yorkers lost their eligibility for a driver’s license due to this policy. – From the ACLU – “NYCLU Praises Expansion of Immigrant Access to Driver’s Licenses (9/21/2007)

Here’s the article regarding the current situation in Oregon.

Immigrant Rights Groups Denounce Governor Kulongoski’s Executive Order
Friday, November 16, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2007

Immigrant Rights Groups Denounce Governor Kulongoski’s Executive Order

Immigrants and allies urge Governor to abandon Executive Order that will harm public safety and erode community trust

Salem, OR— CAUSA, Oregon’s statewide immigrant rights coalition, denounces Governor Ted Kulongoski’s Executive Order #07-22 that would bar Oregon’s undocumented immigrants from accessing a driver’s license. Under the Governor’s proposed order that he plans to issue today, DMV would limit the documents accepted to get a driver’s license, eliminating documents commonly available to immigrants such as the Matricula card and foreign birth certificates. Presently under Oregon law, all residents of Oregon regardless of legal status can obtain a driver’s license, an important public safety policy.

Links to stories about New York’s past drivers license issues:

Immigrants Protest Suspension of Driver’s Licenses
By Evan Mantyk
The Epoch Times
Dec 16, 2004

DRIVERS WITHOUT LICENSES: Immigrants protest outside Governor Pataki’s Manhattan office. (Evan Mantyk)
NEW YORK — After five years of driving a taxi in Brooklyn to support his wife and two children, Mohammed Nimam will now likely lose his license and their meal ticket. Recently, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) sent out thousands of letters to Commercial Driver’s Licenses holders who could not verify their social security numbers. Almost 300,000 illegal immigrants who do not have legitimate social security numbers face the possibility of losing their licenses, according to the New York Coalition for Immigrants’ Rights.

Frosty Wooldridge is an avid opponent of undocumented workers and he’s someone that does not problem using demonizing language against them. I’m sure he’s a very intelligent person which is why I have to believe he realizes his statements are not based in reality, but he uses them anyway to scare the public into submission. It’s propaganda like this that has misled the public regarding Spitzer’s proposal.

Illegal Alien Driver’s License Insanity
By Frosty Wooldridge
10-14-4

Giving illegal aliens driver’s licenses is like giving a gun along with the keys to the front door of a bank to a habitual bank robber. What will happen? He’ll keep coming back to rob the bank. Who pays? Not the president of the bank! You do! You pay in higher interest rates or whatever it takes to cover the cost of the robberies.

These immigrants are not coming here because they can get licenses. They’re coming here because they can get jobs.

Immigrants protest over driving licenses
By John Ramirez
New York
Reprinted from the Dec. 30, 2004, issue of Workers World newspaper

On Dec. 15, the New York Coalition for Immigrants’ Rights to Drivers’ Licenses held a demonstration in response to New York Governor George Pataki and the Department of Motor Vehicle’s (DMV) policy of denying drivers’ licenses based on immigration status.

A crowd of over 100 immigrants with some supporters braved below-freezing temperatures in front of Pataki’s Man hat tan office on Third Ave. They demanded, “Driving licenses now!” and “Sin licencia no hay trabajo!” (“No work without licenses!”) as well as other chants in Spanish. Most of the crowd were Latin@ immigrants, mainly Mexicans. Koreans chanted in their own language. Arabs and South Asians were also in the crowd, along with other nationalities.
————————————————————-
New York State had already sent letters to thousands of immigrants threatening to suspend their licenses if they were unable to verify their Social Security number. This is a new attack against immigrants. Current law does not require a particular immigration status for obtaining a license. This new measure will affect over 300,000 immigrant workers having a variety of immigration statuses, and some 6,000 were already involved. The struggle in the streets complements a struggle already started in the courts.

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