Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski has suggested a two-tiered system for state driver’s licenses: one kind for those who can prove they’re citizens and another for those who can’t, reports The Oregonian. The proposal, which drew condemnation from people who say Oregon is too lax on illegal immigrants, is part of a plan to bring the state into compliance with new federal ID requirements. “The issues that we’re trying to deal with are identity theft and security,” said Patty Wentz, Kulongoski’s spokeswoman. There are some who can’t — or don’t want to — hand over citizenship documents, she said, citing people who have lost papers in natural disasters and some elderly residents.
The license for those who provide proof of “legal presence” would become an official identification card, for use at airports, banks and other places that require ID. The other license would be for driving privileges only and would be stamped “not for identification.” Jim Ludwick of Oregonians for Immigration Reform called the plan an ill-disguised plot to keep a steady stream of illegal immigrants coming into the state. He said the plan would set up an untenable double standard. The best way to curb illegal immigration is to deny driving rights, he said. “If someone is in the country illegally, why would you want to aid and abet their ability to stay?”