Basic Rights Oregon applauds the filing of today’s civil rights lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Measure 88, which overturned a law providing driver cards to all qualified Oregon residents. The Constitution establishes rights to equal protection and due process to all people that should not and cannot be taken away.
“Oregon continues to be a state in which immigrant mothers and fathers cannot legally and safely drive to carry out everyday activities that are essential to caring for their families– taking their kids to school, visiting the doctor’s office, or buying groceries,” said Nancy Haque, co-director, Basic Rights Oregon. “This is not just an economic issue, it is a moral one that must be fixed.”
Historically, Oregon issued driving privileges to all residents who meet standard driving requirements, regardless of legal status. The Department of Motor Vehicles estimates that over 80,000 Oregon residents who previously had a driver’s license have not been able to renew their license due to legal status, and without an alternative driver card they have no path to drive legally and safely in Oregon.
M.S. et al. vs. Brown et al. is a civil rights case challenging the use of an Oregon ballot measure to take away rights granted by the Oregon Legislature based on disagreements over federal immigration policy. Measure 88 struck down the driver card statute in order to discourage immigrants from coming to or staying in Oregon. This state action put Oregon into a position of requiring the Oregon DMV to use legal status as screening criteria to prevent access to driving privileges.
“Now is the time for us to create an Oregon where LGBTQ immigrants, and all immigrants, have the same opportunities to thrive and care for their families as other families,” said Haque. “All families deserve dignity and respect.”