Hoping the seventh time is the charm, a
state lawmaker has renewed his
push to allow illegal immigrants to obtain a license that could be used only
Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-
, said he believes this may be the year the
bill is signed into law.
“The dynamics have changed dramatically, and in our favor,” Cedillo told The Sacramento Bee.
Cedillo, who has said allowing illegal immigrants to receive
proper driver’s training, testing and insurance would make roadways safer, said
the bill is identical to one vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in October
Since then, Cedillo said the state’s political scene has
shifted significantly. Among the examples cited were Schwarzenegger’s four
government reform proposals that were defeated by voters in November.
The vetoed bill called for creating special driver’s
licenses for undocumented 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, the Republican governor said the effort “is premature and could undermine national security efforts to identify
individuals who pose enormous risk to the safety of Californians.”
Schwarzenegger has remained committed to rejecting any
driver’s license legislation sent to him before the federal government issues
new guidelines intended to prevent terrorists from gaining access to
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.
Since 1999, Cedillo has made six attempts to let illegal
immigrants obtain licenses. Then Gov. Gray Davis vetoed two efforts. One was
signed only to be repealed, another was denied a key hearing and two more were
rejected by Schwarzenegger.
Cedillo’s latest bid – SB1160 – is in the Senate Rules