Legislature OK's driver's licenses for immigrants - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Legislature OK's driver's licenses for immigrants

Posted: Updated:
  • ImmigrationMore>>

  • Central American leaders convening at White House

    Central American leaders convening at White House

    President Barack Obama will urge Central American leaders to help slow the influx of unaccompanied children fleeing their countries for the United States, even as Congress remains deeply divided over proposals to stem the crisis at the border.
    President Barack Obama will urge Central American leaders to help slow the influx of unaccompanied children fleeing their countries for the United States, even as Congress remains deeply divided over proposals to stem the crisis at the border.
  • House, Senate advance competing border proposals

    House, Senate advance competing border proposals

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:24 AM EDT2014-07-24 04:24:43 GMT
    Senate Democrats and House Republicans are moving separately to slash President Barack Obama's $3.7 billion emergency spending request for the southern border, but they're unlikely to end up with a deal...
    At an impasse on immigration, House Republicans and Senate Democrats advanced competing proposals Wednesday for dealing with tens of thousands of young migrants showing up at the southern border. Each side quickly ruled...
  • Calls for troops at border echo previous pushes

    Calls for troops at border echo previous pushes

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:26 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:26:59 GMT
    Texas Gov. Rick Perry was speaking to voters in Iowa as much as Texas when he deployed as many as 1,000 armed National Guard troops to the Mexican border in South Texas.
    When Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced the deployment of up to 1,000 armed National Guard troops to the Mexican border he was speaking to voters in Iowa as much as Texas.

By TRACIE CONE and LAURA OLSON
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California would become the latest state to grant immigrants who are in the country illegally the right to a driver's license under a bill that passed the Legislature late Thursday and that Gov. Jerry Brown supports.

The success of the legislation in the state with the nation's largest immigrant population comes after years of setbacks for Democratic lawmakers and Latino activists.

The state Assembly approved the bill on a 55-19 vote late in the evening, hours after the Senate passed it on a 28-8 vote. The Democratic governor issued a statement indicating he would sign it into law, which would make California the 11th state to allow immigrants to apply for licenses, according to the bill's author.

"This bill will enable millions of people to get to work safely and legally," Brown said in his statement, issued immediately after the Assembly vote. "Hopefully, it will send a message to Washington that immigration reform is long past due."

The approval on the final day of this year's legislative session was a surprise.

The author of AB60, Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo of Watsonville, was prepared to put his legislation on hold until next year because of opposition from immigrant-right groups. They had objected to a provision that calls for the licenses to be given a special designation, fearing the different look could lead to discrimination.

The legislation was revived after lawmakers persuaded some of the activists to drop their objections.

Alejo was elated as he presented the bill on the Assembly floor.

"This is a very historic night for all immigrant communities," he said, as a crowd of Latino senators and Assembly members gathered behind him. They hugged and cheered when the measure sailed through on the final vote.

"We have had far too many families who have been divided, far too many workers who have been deported, for not having something so basic, so simple, as a driver's license," Alejo said.

Several other attempts had passed the Legislature only to be vetoed by previous governors. Alejo said the author of most of those, former state lawmaker Gil Cedillo, had asked him to continue pushing the issue.

The bill could allow some 2 million people in California to drive legally by allowing immigrants with proper identification to apply for a license.

In the Assembly, Republican lawmakers who opposed the bill said granting a license with special markings to Californians illegally in the state would put employers and landlords in a conflict between complying with state and federal laws.

Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, R-Dana Point, pointed to the card's notice, which will state that it is only an ID for driving and that it does not establish eligibility for employment, voting or seeking public benefits.

"In essence, it puts a big flag on the card that this is not for a person that is in this country legally," Harkey said. "So I kind of question the purpose of the bill."

Supporters said California's roads would be safer because immigrants would have to pass the written and driving tests, and would be eligible to buy insurance. The insurance industry and the California Police Chiefs Association supported the bill, Alejo said.

Before 1993, citizenship was not a requirement for holding a license.

Latino lawmakers in the Senate rallied on the Legislature's final day to revive the bill, saying that legally licensing people to drive was more important than concerns over what the licenses would look like.

"AB60 is not perfect, but it moves our state in the right direction," said Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, who is chairman of the Latino Legislative Caucus. "The alternative is a status quo system that continues to penalize hardworking families with tickets, court fees and car impoundments. These families deserve better."

Didn't find what
you were looking for?

  • Viral StoriesMore>>

  • Former contractor says she was attacked by rats at DC's Providence Hospital

    Former contractor says she was attacked by rats at DC's Providence Hospital

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:03 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:03:00 GMT
    It is an odd and very disturbing story. A hospital contractor in Northeast D.C. was attacked by rats on the job and they are the same rats she says are eating bodies in the morgue.
    It is an odd and very disturbing story. A hospital contractor in Northeast D.C. was attacked by rats on the job and they are the same rats she says are eating bodies in the morgue.
  • Surgeons find 10-year-old sex toy inside woman's body

    Surgeons find 10-year-old sex toy inside woman's body

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:49 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:49:35 GMT
    After complaining of various health problems, a Scottish woman was found to have a sex toy inside her vagina – and that it had been left there for 10 years. According to a report by STV News, the 38-year-old visited Aberdeen Royal Infirmary after contracting sepsis and experiencing severe weight loss and urinary incontinence. At the hospital, doctors conducted an X-ray of her abdomen, which showed the five-inch toy protruding into her bladder from her vagina. According to the Dail...
    After complaining of various health problems, a Scottish woman was found to have a sex toy inside her vagina – and that it had been left there for 10 years. According to a report by STV News, the 38-year-old visited Aberdeen Royal Infirmary after contracting sepsis and experiencing severe weight loss and urinary incontinence. At the hospital, doctors conducted an X-ray of her abdomen, which showed the five-inch toy protruding into her bladder from her vagina. According to the Dail...
  • New wristband will shock users if they miss fitness goals

    New wristband will shock users if they miss fitness goals

    Thursday, July 24 2014 1:02 PM EDT2014-07-24 17:02:43 GMT
    A new wristband design will deliver an electric shock if the wearer does not meet fitness goals. The Pavlok wristband will be designed to track daily performance. According to the company’s website, the Pavlok compels you into keeping workout and fitness goals by using feedback, reinforcement and electric shock. READ MORE: http://pavlok.com/
    A new wristband design will deliver an electric shock if the wearer does not meet fitness goals. The Pavlok wristband will be designed to track daily performance. According to the company’s website, the Pavlok compels you into keeping workout and fitness goals by using feedback, reinforcement and electric shock. READ MORE: http://pavlok.com/
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices