The number of people taking the driving test in Spanish actually rose substantially between November, when the order was issued, and Feb. 4, when it took effect. The Portland Tribune reports that state officials tie the pattern to the governor’s order, and say there is no other explanation for it. The data do not suggest a drop in applicants taking the test in English or the four other languages offered.
Jim Ludwick, president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, applauded new data. The Tribune quotes him as saying, “I think that’s reflective of the fact that at one time Oregon had an open door for illegal aliens to get their drivers’ licenses from all over the United States.”
Gov. Kulongoski, Ludwick and other immigration reduction activists lobbied the state legislature this year to tighten state requirements and reinforce Governor’s executive order. Legislators subsequently passed Senate Bill 1080, which requires license applicants to provide proof they are citizens or legal residents. That law took effect July 1. The law’s impact on reducing the number of illegal aliens in the state may not be known for a while because Oregon driver’s licenses have eight-year terms.