By MITCH LIES
SALEM -- Members of Oregonians for Immigration Reform gathered on the steps of the Capitol May 21 to distribute packets for a referendum to stop implementation of a bill allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driving privileges.
Senate Bill 833, which lawmakers passed and Gov. John Kitzhaber has signed, takes effect Jan. 1 unless opposition forces can collect 58,142 signatures within 90 days of the close of the 2013 legislative session.
Bob Temple of Salem picked up a packet -- complete with an information sheet, a copy of SB833 and three signature sheets -- with plans to collect signatures from neighbors and fraternal organizations.
"I think legislators ought to be representing the citizens of the state and the U.S. and not illegal aliens," Temple said.
SB833 calls for the state to issue a short-term "driver's card" to applicants who show proof of identity, have resided in Oregon for a year and pass written and driving skills tests.
Applicants won't, however, need to show proof of legal presence, which currently is required.
Cynthia Kendall, president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, said citizens from around Oregon have requested packets.
Kendall said the organization is not paying for signature gathering at this point, but reserves the right to do so.
"If we're getting toward the end of the allotted time and it looks like we're not making our goal, that could be a possibility," Kendall said.
Kendall said the organization hopes to have the referendum on the November 2014 ballot.