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>>

  • Obama: GOP not even trying to solve immigration

    Obama: GOP not even trying to solve immigration

    President Barack Obama says House Republicans are trying to pass the most extreme and unworkable version of an immigration bill even though they know the bill isn't going anywhere.
    President Barack Obama says House Republicans are trying to pass the most extreme and unworkable version of an immigration bill even though they know the bill isn't going anywhere.
  • House GOP divisions on border bill delay getaway

    House GOP divisions on border bill delay getaway

    House Republican leaders struggled to round up votes from recalcitrant conservatives for a bill dealing with the immigrant surge at the U.S.-Mexico border and head home for a five-week summer break boasting of acting to address the crisis.
    House Republican leaders struggled to round up votes from recalcitrant conservatives for a bill dealing with the immigrant surge at the U.S.-Mexico border and head home for a five-week summer break boasting of acting to address the crisis.
  • Transgendered inmate demands to be released following rape claim

    Transgendered inmate demands to be released following rape claim

    A transgendered inmate at the ICE detention center in Eloy is demanding she be released after she claims she was harassed and raped.Eloy Police have confirmed they are investigating her claims.
    A transgendered inmate at the ICE detention center in Eloy is demanding she be released after she claims she was harassed and raped.Eloy Police have confirmed they are investigating her claims.

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>>

  • Family says 'no thanks' to cruise ship offer after boy's cancer cancels trip

    Family says 'no thanks' to cruise ship offer after boy's cancer cancels trip

    Thursday, July 31 2014 10:55 AM EDT2014-07-31 14:55:58 GMT
    The family of a 5-year-old boy forced to scrap their idyllic summer vacation after he was diagnosed with cancer, is saying “thanks, but no thanks” to a chance to re-book the trip after a cruise line had a change of heart. Citing the company’s cancellation policy, the parents of Nicolas Colucci said Norwegian Cruise Line had refused to accommodate them after they were forced to change plans for the June 1 $4,000 family-friendly cruise following their son’s cancer diagnosis on May 19. But...
    The family of a 5-year-old boy forced to scrap their idyllic summer vacation after he was diagnosed with cancer, is saying “thanks, but no thanks” to a chance to re-book the trip after a cruise line had a change of heart. Citing the company’s cancellation policy, the parents of Nicolas Colucci said Norwegian Cruise Line had refused to accommodate them after they were forced to change plans for the June 1 $4,000 family-friendly cruise following their son’s cancer diagnosis on May 19. But...
  • Cow herd kills German woman hiker in Austria

    Cow herd kills German woman hiker in Austria

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:24 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:24:40 GMT
    VIENNA (AP) -- Police say a herd of cows attacked and killed a German woman hiking through their fenced-in pasture after apparently being riled by the sight of her leashed dog. They said Tuesday the 45-year old victim was rushed by about 20 cows and their calves. Attempts by an emergency crew to revive her were unsuccessful. The attack occurred Monday on a mountain pasture in Austria's Tyrol province. The woman's name was not released, in accordance with Austrian confidentiality rules. © 201...
    VIENNA (AP) -- Police say a herd of cows attacked and killed a German woman hiking through their fenced-in pasture after apparently being riled by the sight of her leashed dog. They said Tuesday the 45-year old victim was rushed by about 20 cows and their calves. Attempts by an emergency crew to revive her were unsuccessful. The attack occurred Monday on a mountain pasture in Austria's Tyrol province. The woman's name was not released, in accordance with Austrian confidentiality rules. © 201...
  • New app helps teens calm anxiety

    New app helps teens calm anxiety

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:46 AM EDT2014-07-28 15:46:49 GMT
    Anxiety disorders affect one in eight teens. There are medications and therapies that can help alleviate symptoms, and now there’s even an app that can help. The MindShift app aims to teach young adults how to combat everyday anxiety, panic, conflict and worry. Teens can input their symptoms and the app will create a plan to help reduce stress. Created by two non-profit organizations, Anxiety BC and BC Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Mindshift app gives users the ability to ...
    Anxiety disorders affect one in eight teens. There are medications and therapies that can help alleviate symptoms, and now there’s even an app that can help. The MindShift app aims to teach young adults how to combat everyday anxiety, panic, conflict and worry. Teens can input their symptoms and the app will create a plan to help reduce stress. Created by two non-profit organizations, Anxiety BC and BC Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Mindshift app gives users the ability to ...
Powered by WorldNow
Untitled

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 | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices