It's about time, Ted

November 23, 2007 12:00 am

You've read such sentences: "Oregon is one of just (insert single-digit number) states that (insert action that Oregon either allows, or prohibits)."

Now, you might consider Oregon's minority status an attribute, depending on what you think about pumping your own gas or paying sales tax.

But as for handing out driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, Oregon's disdain for what's common practice in most states is nothing to celebrate. Forty-three of the 50 states require people to prove "legal presence" before they're granted a driver's license.

We applaud Gov. Ted Kulongoski for making Oregon the 44th such state.

Kulongoski announced last week that the state will require applicants for a driver's license to have a valid Social Security number, or to prove they have a legal right to be in the United States.

Oregon officials should have done this years ago.

Kulongoski's work isn't quite done, though.

The governor should scrap his proposal to ask the Legislature to create a "driving only" permit that would allow people to continue to drive even if they can't prove they're legally in this country.

For non-natives, living in America is a privilege, not a right. Driving should be, too.