Schwarzenegger vetoes licenses for illegal immigrants

| 9/24/2004

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill that would have allowed illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses in California.

The bill, AB2895, passed the Assembly April 19 by a vote of 71-0; it passed the Senate Aug. 27 by a much narrower vote, 22-14.

However, Schwarzenegger, who has opposed such measures previously, rejected the bill this week.

“One of the most important duties of the governor of a state is to protect its citizens,” Schwarzenegger wrote in his veto message. “Determining the true identity and history of an individual is a key component of that protection.

“This bill does not adequately address the security concerns that my Department of Homeland Security and I have, and I cannot support it.”

The bill is one of several such efforts made in the past year to allow licenses for illegal immigrants in the state. Another bill, SB1160, remains stalled out in committee.

All of the bills would end the requirement that a person applying for a driver’s license present a valid Social Security number. However, each bill has also continued that requirement for holders of commercial driver’s licenses.