M.S. v. Brown
On Wednesday, January 13, 2016, IRLI, along with Jill Gibson of the Gibson Law Firm, LLC, filed on behalf of their client Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR) a motion to intervene in an Oregon federal court lawsuit brought by five admitted illegal aliens and two illegal alien special interest groups (collectively plaintiffs). At the same time, IRLI and Ms. Gibson filed on OFIR’s behalf a motion to dismiss the lawsuit as lacking merit. The lawsuit sought to force the State of Oregon to grant driving privileges to illegal aliens.
Specifically, the suit seeks to overturn as unconstitutional the outcome of the November 2014 general election in Oregon, when, through the Oregon Constitution’s referendum veto process, Oregon voters overwhelmingly rejected (by more than 66%) a bill passed by the legislature and signed by the governor that would have extended eligibility for driving privileges to unlawfully present persons (OFIR was the driving force behind the referendum veto who collected the requisite number of signatures to get the issue placed on the ballot.). Conspicuously absent from the plaintiffs’ complaint was any mention of the alleged fundamental right denied them. Certainly it was not the right to a driver’s license or interstate travel as every court to address this issue has held that illegal aliens hold no such rights.
States actually have a number of legitimate public purposes that are rationally served by laws that restrict driving privileges to persons lawfully present in the U.S. For instance, states have a legitimate interest in limiting their finite resources to citizens and legal aliens and in not allowing their government machinery to be a facilitator for the concealment of illegal aliens. States also have a legitimate concern that persons subject to immediate or subsequent deportation will not be financially responsible for property damage or personal injury due to automobile accidents. Finally, states have a legitimate interest in promoting national security. Granting driving privileges to illegal aliens harms national security because, unlike legal aliens, illegal aliens have not undergone background checks or face-to-face interviews to determine whether they pose a national security threat.