VICTORY! Bill to Honor Oregon Hero Minoru Yasui Passes Oregon Legislature Unanimously
UPDATE: February 24, 2016 - A bill honoring the struggle and legacy of Oregonian Minoru “Min” Yasui, who fought against the internment of Japanese Americans, passed unanimously through both the Oregon Senate and House. The legislation designates March 28 of each year as Minoru Yasui Day. The governor is expected to sign the bill into law.
“With so much anti-immigrant rhetoric in the news, it’s refreshing that Oregon legislators came together across the aisle to support Minoru Yasui Day,” said Kimberly McCullough, ACLU of Oregon’s legislative director. “Min’s story is a reminder that we must remain vigilant to protect freedom for all people.”
1,393 supporters signed an ACLU of Oregon petition to create Minoru Yasui Day.
“Minoru Yasui has made all Oregonians and all Americans proud,” said Senate President Peter Courtney, D - Salem, after the unanimous vote today.
The ACLU of Oregon’s work is rooted in the notion that all persons in Oregon deserve protection under the law and the right to be free from discrimination. We also believe that the purpose of requiring that every driver be licensed should be to ensure that drivers know the rules of the road, have liability insurance and have the skills to drive safely – not to act as a proxy for enforcement of federal immigration law.
We strongly opposed the changes to Oregon law in 2007 that added the requirement for all Oregon driver license applicants and renewals to provide proof of lawful presence in the U.S. Measure 88 is a common sense measure designed to make our roads and communities more safe by creating a limited purpose and limited duration driver “card” that would be available to those that would otherwise qualify for a license but, for whatever reason, cannot “prove” their lawful presence in the U.S.
Oregon Safe Roads Coalition to monitor signature verification process and stay vigilant in protecting the public safety law
October 7, 2013 – Last week, opponents of SB 833, a bipartisan law passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2013 that directs the Department of Transportation to issue driver cards to Oregonians who pass a driver’s test and provide proof of Oregon residency, submitted signatures to the Secretary of State’s office in an effort to repeal the law.
The Oregon Safe Roads Coalition, made up of leaders from the business, law enforcement, and faith communities, express disappointment in SB 833 opponents’ attempt to repeal the bipartisan law by confusing the issue and causing a delay in its implementation.
SB 833 is a common sense, public safety measure designed to improve traffic safety and reduce the number of unlicensed and uninsured motorists on Oregon’s roads.
Since 2007, when then Governor Ted Kulongoski signed an Executive Order to require proof of lawful presence as a condition of obtaining a driver license, thousands of people in Oregon have been faced with the terrible choice between not driving to school, work, and medical appointments, or driving unlicensed with an ever-present fear of being pulled over. With the harmful and ongoing entanglement between local law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement, a routine traffic stop could lead to deportation proceedings, making this choice for unlicensed Oregonians even more high-stakes.
Immigrant rights advocates had been working for over a decade on the issue until the Legislature finally passed HB 2787 this session, promoting equal access to education for all eligible Oregonians regardless of citizenship status. Introduced with strong bipartisan support from members in both the House and the Senate, HB 2787 enables Oregonians who have grown up in Oregon but are unable to prove lawful presence in the country to still apply for in-state tuition at Oregon colleges and universities.
Introduced by Representative Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer), HB 4052 proposed a mandate on all state agencies to use the federal E-Verify system. E-Verify is an internet-based computer database run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that is used by some businesses to verify the work eligibility of employees. The system is widely understood to be flawed and often inaccurate, each error increasing the risk that a U.S. citizen or legal U.S. worker could be denied employment and a paycheck because of the mistake.
Near the end of the session, HB 3682 was introduced (on behalf of the Judiciary Committee so we do not know who proposed it). It would have authorized the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) to send inmates to out-of-state private prisons.