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Undocumented Oregonians could get licenses

April 2, 2013 at 3:28 PM

SALEM, Ore., April 2 (UPI) -- A proposed bill in the Oregon Senate, introduced Tuesday, would allow undocumented state residents to obtain driver's licenses.

The four-year "short-term licenses or permits" would be available to undocumented residents who have lived in Oregon for at least a year and who meet all other requirements to obtain a driver's license, the (Portland) Oregonian reported Tuesday.

Supporters frame the legislation as a public safety issue, ensuring drivers are licensed and can get to their jobs. Opponents object to offering driving privileges to those in the country illegal, and note federal law prohibits undocumented workers from legally working, the newspaper said.

A 2008 state law requires proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the country to obtain a driver's license. Advocates of the proposed legislation say up to 80,000 drivers could be affected by 2016.

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