How's this for cause and (presumably) unintended effect?

In 2008, Oregon changed the vehicle code to require anyone who applies for a driver's license also prove their right to legally live in the US of A—forcing thousands of undocumented immigrants to keep out of the DMV and take their chances on the road without a license in their pocket.

Then last year—under the auspices of the Orwellian-sounding "Secure Communities" program—federal immigration authorities got Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties to run all jail inmates' fingerprints through a national immigration database.

The federal program is supposed to target felons and other obvious bad guys. But who's been swept up instead? People dodging MAX fares. Or driving without a license.

So... what to do? Senator Chip Shields, a Democrat representing North and Northeast Portland, has put forward an interesting solution. Senate Bill 845 would create a special class of driver's license for applicants who clearly know the rules of the road and how to drive—but just can't prove they're legally living in the United States. Unlike a regular license, the special card wouldn't work as legal ID. Rather, it would keep people who carry it from getting hauled off to jail for not having a valid license.

If approved, it'd be a novel approach—only three states give licenses to undocumented immigrants, but not in the limited way Shields has proposed. Still, it's hard to see how this threads the needle in a divided Oregon Legislature, despite the fact that Shields has at least one Republican on board, Representative Bob Jenson of Pendleton. (Although Jenson, given his voting history, isn't necessarily a bellwether of broader GOP support.) I'll update when I hear back from Shields' or Jenson's people.