The California Senate has approved a bill that would allow
illegal immigrants to obtain a license that could be used only for driving.
SB60, sponsored by Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, would bring
California in line with federal law and would create a two-tiered licensing
system. The REAL ID Act, signed by President Bush in May, requires states to
verify that people who apply for driver’s licenses are in the country legally.
The federal act also allows states to choose whether to
issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants as long as they look different
than regular licenses. They also must clearly state that the license cannot be
used for federal identification purposes, such as passing through airport
security or entering federal buildings.
Cedillo’s bill would repeal an existing state law requiring
that applicants provide proof of legal residence to the Department of Motor
Vehicles. In exchange, California would be allowed to issue licenses to illegal
immigrants under the new federal guidelines.
The measure could affect 22 million California drivers, in
addition to an estimated 2 million people in the state who lack proof of
residency, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
The bill has been sent to the state Assembly for further