Governor vetoes licenses for illegal immigrants in California

| 12/2/2005

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill that sought to allow illegal immigrants in California to obtain licenses that could be used only for driving.

The bill – SB60 – called for creating special driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants that look different than licenses for citizens and legal aliens. The version for illegal immigrants would not be valid for identification or purposes other than driving.

In his veto message, Schwarzenegger said the effort “is premature and could undermine national security efforts to identify individuals who pose enormous risk to the safety of Californians.”

Schwarzenegger, who vetoed a similar bill a year ago, said all along he would reject any driver’s license legislation sent to him before the federal government issues new guidelines intended to prevent terrorists from gaining access to state-issued licenses. Those regulations are expected next year.

The governor said “once the federal rulemaking is finalized, it would be appropriate to engage in discussions relating to implementation of the act, including whether or not a driving only certificate is appropriate” in the state.