California Assembly has approved a bill that media reports say would
allow illegal immigrants to obtain legal California driver’s licenses.
current California law, a person who wants to obtain a driver’s
license must present a valid social security number. Illegal immigrants
do not have valid numbers.
written by Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, has been modified or
amended numerous times, but under the current text, people who are
not eligible for social security numbers can submit other documents
deemed acceptable to the state to get a driver’s license. Those
documents could include a federal taxpayer identification number
or a birth certificate from a foreign government.
Los Angeles Times reported Sept. 2 that the change would directly
affect an estimated 2 million drivers in the state.
bill passed the full Assembly Sept. 2 by a vote of 44-31, a spokeswoman
for the Assembly said. It passed the Senate June 4 by a vote of
24-14, but the Senate must now approve the Assembly’s amendments
before the bill can go to Gov. Gray Davis for his signature.
outlets have reported that Davis would likely sign the bill if it
passed both houses of the General Assembly. The Times reported
that the Senate was expected to move fast to OK the Assembly’s amendments.
of the bill say it will undermine public safety by potentially allowing
terrorists to obtain a legal form of identification, while supporters
say it will promote safety by allowing undocumented residents to
receive driver training and obtain insurance.
bill’s new benefits for undocumented workers would not extend to
commercial driver’s licenses. Earlier this month, David Galaviz,
a spokesman for Sen. Cedillo, told Land Line plans were under
way to amend the bill to prevent that from happening.
we’re going to do is draft language that would not allow [those
covered under the bill] to apply for a commercial driver’s license,
so we would only cover the regular class C driver’s license,” he
provision apparently has been added. The current version of the
bill would still require CDL applicants to present a valid social
security number, preventing undocumented workers from applying legally.
bill also contains other provisions, including an increase in license
fees that would generate $330 million for the state, The Times reported.
Mark H. Reddig, associate editor
Reddig can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.