Unlawful immigrants rush for CA drivers licenses

Drivers licenseEmerging statistics have revealed that California’s extension of drivers licenses to unlawful immigrants aroused unexpected demand — with no end in sight.

“While state officials expected 1.4 million undocumented immigrants to apply for licenses in the first three years, in the first six months since the law has been enacted more than 1.1 million undocumented immigrants have so far taken the written test, and another 436,000 have taken the driving test,” reported Fox News Latino.

“During the first six months that the Safe Driver and Responsibility Act — or AB 60 — went into effect, the Department of Motor Vehicles saw more than 600,000 applications from undocumented immigrants,” the Los Angeles Daily News observed. DMV officials announced that, in the first half of the year, some 397,000 licenses have been issued to unlawfully present immigrants — half the total of roughly 759,000 licenses issued, according to the Associated Press.

And according to officials, the robust numbers were only the beginning. “An estimated 1.5 million applications from undocumented immigrants are expected to be processed over the next three years,” the Daily News confirmed.

Partial identification

The rules for the special licenses were crafted to strike what seemed to be an inviting compromise. “The new license is marked differently than those issued to other drivers in the state and is not considered a valid form of federal identification, for example, to board an airplane,” AP added. “Applicants must pass driving tests and show proof of residency and identity” — the same documents as lawful immigrants and citizens, as KCRA noted.

But the license’s limited use as a form of identification underscored how California’s effort to bring unlawful immigrants out of the shadows plunged them into a different kind of gray area. In addition to what has often proven to be a steep learning curve, with many struggling to pass the written exam, applicants have had to take “a leap of faith that government officials won’t use immigration status against an applicant,” KCRA pointed out.

That teed up the kind of potential conflict playing out now between California’s so-called “sanctuary cities” and its Congressional delegation. As National Journal reported, Sen. Dianne Feinstein “has pledged to make a legislative push” to rein in Californian leniency. In one sign of the rising stakes, National Journal continued, “Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has come out in support of limiting the power of officials in sanctuary cities.”

Looking for evidence

Nevertheless, support for the licenses appeared to be strong enough to sustain the program. As activist organizations that pushed for the changes had noted, until 1994, “immigrants had access to a driver’s license in California, regardless of immigration status,” according to Drive CA, one such group. In that sense, AB 60 marked a return to the old status quo.

On the other hand, California’s population of illegal immigrants rose profoundly over the ensuing decades. Activists have used that fact to advance the argument that too many unlicensed immigrants on the roads present a peril to all drivers. 

“Supporters of the law say giving licenses to people regardless of their immigration status makes the roads safer for everyone,” as AP recalled. Authorized drivers, the logic ran, would be more likely to operate well-maintained cars, and to obey traffic laws without trying to evade detection. But the debate over whether the program made roads safer has had to wait for more data. As Fox News Latino noted, “the California Department of Insurance does not have data available on whether the boom in new license-seekers has led to increased auto insurance sales, but anecdotal evidence does appear to show a slight uptick in people buying car insurance.” Californians will have to await additional information on how many licensed unlawful immigrants have been involved in vehicle collisions.

19 comments

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  1. californianative
    californianative 26 July, 2015, 10:16

    To make sure they can’t try to use them as legitimate Federal ID why don’t they just label them as ” Mexifornia” driver’s licenses? Then maybe they can use them on both sides of the border.

    Reply this comment
      • NTHEOC
        NTHEOC 26 July, 2015, 15:25

        Would the CWD please remove the above post from bob with the RACIST link.

        Reply this comment
        • Dyspeptic
          Dyspeptic 27 July, 2015, 09:58

          Dear NTHEOC,

          You don’t get to define racism. You don’t get to shut people up. You don’t get to control what constitutes legitimate satire. You don’t get to marginalize and smear anyone you disagree with you totalitarian thug. You don’t get to convict someone of a thought crime like some left wing lunatic cultural vigilante. You may think you have such power, but all you really have is the ability to display what a reactionary, hypocritical, ignorant, childish, humorless moron you are.

          If you’re delicate, girlish sensibilities are offended by what you read here, then go crawl back in your Troll hole, assume the fetal position (like those innocent fetal infants you leftist monsters love to murder/dismember for fun and profit) and suck your thumb.

          Reply this comment
          • Ted
            Ted 29 July, 2015, 08:28

            Dysphoric–
            Ntheoc is correct and yes he has a right to urge you to remove your odd race oriented postings—

            have a nice day slave troll….discuss at once!

      • S Moderation Douglas
        S Moderation Douglas 29 July, 2015, 20:16

        Here’s some advice for the future Jose. When making a fake ID, no matter how much you love the girl, attach a picture of yourself only.

        http://www.idcardgroup.com/blog/image.axd?picture=2010%2f10%2fwith+girlfriend.jpg

        Reply this comment
  2. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 26 July, 2015, 15:35

    bob, you are what is wrong with this country and your racist views are not supported.The pursuit of happiness and a new life in the United States has defined this country since its inception. Seeking the so called American Dream is what being American is all about. Immigration defines our American culture. It has shaped the American way of life and has created the unique diversity that is so highly cherished in the United States. Latino immigrants generally come to the U.S. driven by a strong desire to provide a better life for their family. Their drive is not that different from the motivating factors that impelled the ancestors of almost everyone in this country!!!!!!!!

    Reply this comment
    • SpeakingOut
      SpeakingOut 26 July, 2015, 18:35

      We all agree immigration is good and helps the country.
      The debate is about illegal immigration.
      Do you believe the borders should open?

      Reply this comment
  3. desmond
    desmond 26 July, 2015, 16:31

    What is wrong with this country is the ignorant morons that stupidly believe that shutting up people with views different than their own is the way to improvement. That is the norm in North Korea, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia. Well, at least we know who the idiots are.

    Reply this comment
    • NTHEOC
      NTHEOC 26 July, 2015, 23:08

      And at least we know who the RACIST are!

      Reply this comment
      • Ulysses Uhaul
        Ulysses Uhaul 27 July, 2015, 00:16

        CWD has been quite “liberal” in letting some really ignorant posts stay in provocative threads.

        The moderator should clean up the site……

        Reply this comment
        • ricky65
          ricky65 27 July, 2015, 15:47

          Wah, … Mommie…Desi hit me!
          Jeez… more whining, A-haul?
          Seems it’s all you do lately when you aren’t trolling for renters of your unsafe U-Haul trailers or kissingTeddie’s behind.
          Shutting down all opposition speech is a predictable pattern for all leftists and totalitarians and so unbecoming…even for trailer trash like yourself.

          Reply this comment
    • Ted
      Ted 29 July, 2015, 11:23

      Desi– No one wants to squelch views here it’s just that as adults a few of us know that hateful racial polarized crap comments to not advance discourse—- that’s junior hi time—- this Country needs thoughtful discourse not the am radio/teabaggy/Trump nonsense flegm that passes for convo out here on CWD—– lmao—

      Reply this comment
      • afrequentreader
        afrequentreader 29 July, 2015, 15:08

        says the “adult” frequently referring to those on the right as “teabaggers” and many similar forms related to that term. Hypocrisy much?

        Reply this comment
  4. desmond
    desmond 27 July, 2015, 05:00

    No open borders . Adopt immigration policies of Canada, not Mexico, which are too extreme.

    Reply this comment
  5. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 27 July, 2015, 09:34

    “applicants have had to take “a leap of faith that government officials won’t use immigration status against an applicant”

    You’re kidding, right? In Commiefornia illegal immigrants are treated like royalty. Everyone knows this so the above comment is just Libtard compassion babble.

    “California’s effort to bring unlawful immigrants out of the shadows”

    I am embarrassed for any author that feels it necessary to use such a trite, hackneyed and pathetic phrase. Illegal’s are not in the shadow. They are out in the open everywhere, 24/7. They are definitely not cowering in the shadows! Only the blind, foolish or terminally PC among us are still using this ridiculous, worn out metaphor.

    Reply this comment
    • Ted
      Ted 29 July, 2015, 11:27

      Dysphoric— So you don’t like the writing style?? LMAO– are you Steinbeck with a brain injury? I have read your droooly drol out here for awhile– How would you describe your own slobbery rant style?

      I would say hackneyed pretty accurately describes your spit fueled outbursts pretty well.

      Oh my this is just easy!

      The Ted

      Reply this comment
  6. Paul
    Paul 27 July, 2015, 11:17

    Call it what it is, an ILLEGAL ALIEN invasion of the USA and stop being PC! Commiefornia is just leading the way and the front on this war!!!

    Reply this comment
  7. spurwing Plover
    spurwing Plover 23 September, 2015, 23:15

    time for a massive force field at the border that disinstigrate all hose who come in contact with it

    Reply this comment

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