It was a total surprise to see how drastically Measure 88 (the driver’s license initiative) went down to defeat in this month’s election. It seemed like a winner that would protect the general public and provide more accountability for the undocumented. We can be fairly certain that the undocumented will drive without licenses because they must do so to survive; to get to work, to school and to doctor’s appointments. Wouldn’t it be better to have undocumented drivers with insurance and state oversight? A driver’s card could be restricted from use as an identification document for any other purpose than the operation of a motor vehicle which would put to rest the idea of the undocumented using the cards to gain access to planes for acts of terrorism. If the measure had been promoted more as an automotive safety measure and not as an equality measure for the undocumented it might have fared better on November 4th. The measure wasn’t to protect or reward the undocumented; its purpose was to protect the rest of us.
The Obama Executive Order, when implemented, should allow the Oregon legislature to change the driver rules for the new special segment of the undocumented population. Hopefully it will do so.