Once-undocumented claim half of new CD drivers licenses

DMVRoiled by immigration fears on both sides, California supplied drivers licenses to big numbers of the otherwise undocumented, further sharpening the statewide debate.

“California issued more than a half-million driver’s licenses under a new law granting the identifying documents to immigrants who may be in the country illegally,” the Associated Press noted. “The Department of Motor Vehicles announced Wednesday that 605,000 licenses were issued since AB60 took effect last January. That’s out of 830,000 applications.”

The Orange County Register reported that reaching and processing that group would cost an estimated $141 million spread over three years. “Seniors were particularly hard hit because anyone over 70 has to appear in person at a DMV office to have a license renewed,” according to the Register. But 76-year-old Kent Moore told the Register that he had “mixed feelings” about spending hours at the Costa Mesa DMV despite holding an appointment. “These folks have jobs. And they support families. If they go through the credential process, they shouldn’t be denied,” he said. “But I paid my dues. I’ve been a model citizen. I don’t feel I should have to wait in line for hours, behind newly arrived people who are here illegally.”

No residency permits

Although opposition to the licensing plan has been steady, it has not produced a groundswell strong enough to roll back the problem. But a proposed initiative that would have ushered in a residence permit system for those who unlawfully entered and remained in the state failed to collect enough signatures to meet the requirements for inclusion on the ballot this election year. The so-called California Immigration Reform Act “would also have created a new state department to administer the permit system, require permit holders to pay state income taxes and make permit holders eligible for certain public benefits,” MyNewsLA noted. “The initiative would also have prohibited state and local governments from using public funds to support or otherwise participate in federal immigration enforcement against permit holders.”

Immigration has remained a sharply divisive issue, with state officials seeking to pursue an accommodating course while many residents remain on edge. Late last month, the Golden State was virtually alone in responding favorably to the federal government’s request for help in housing immigrant children on their own. “California and Virginia told the National Guard Bureau they have facilities that could be used but they would require additional funding if asked to meet federal requirements,” according to the Associated Press. California Guard spokesman Brandon Honig told the AP that “all state facilities would require work for fencing or other items to meet the requirements.”

Raid fears

But this month, passions have run high amid a spate of federal immigration raids both real and imagined. In events that sent tremors through California politics, “Democrats, led by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, have protested a number of raids carried out in southern states by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers against illegal immigrants from Central America — 121 adults and children who had been ordered to leave the country by a judge,” ABC News reported. “Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-California, who has been in constant communication with White House officials and attended the Tuesday meeting with the White House council, said she was not aware of any imminent ‘pause’ to the operations.” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had predicted a reprieve, although he couldn’t speak to when the White House might announce it, according to The Hill.

Rumors quickly caught fire in California that deportation raids were underway on the west coast too. As Fusion noted, “there were multiple reports of immigration officials lingering in front of a San Francisco elementary school. Tweets, Facebook updates, and even Instagram posts reported immigration checkpoints at grocery stores all over the Bay Area. There were also reports of immigration agents rounding up day laborers at a Home Depot in Hayward. But all of the reports turned out to be false, according to immigration officials and other social media users who went looking for the raids with the intent to share pictures and video.”

11 comments

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  1. Mike
    Mike 17 January, 2016, 05:43

    This is an excellent start. When 50 percent of college enrollees are undocumented with free tuition, I feel we we will have turned a corner against white privilege in California. The Mexican flag should be flown equal and next to the racist US flag at all public buildings in California, recognizing the superior Mexican culture.
    Adios to white people’s freedom of speech. Just shut up and pay taxes.

    Reply this comment
    • Queeg
      Queeg 17 January, 2016, 06:40

      Garcias Amigo Comrade Mike

      Here in SantiagoDe Compestela in Spain the Middle East Kabob and Flafel shop is popular with young families and tourists burned out on poor ingredient dried out counter tapas. You have no idea what a day old tuna empanada tastes like….. No clue

      Reply this comment
    • Bill - San Jose
      Bill - San Jose 17 January, 2016, 09:38

      Being an “Indian” whose ancestors were overrun by and bred with the Spanish doesn’t really speak to the problems with this latest info.

      We, as in white america, have always welcomed others from different cultures and races.

      But via our system not the gypsum mentality of Indians.

      Facts. Let’s stick to facts. =)

      Reply this comment
  2. Valtaier
    Valtaier 17 January, 2016, 05:49

    Let’s quit toying with words, undocumented workers = illegal immigrants. With their drivers licenses issued can they vote as well? Will we subsidies them for Obama care? Housing? Why the people of this State elect the people they do remains a mystery. The Senate voted on a bill to Audit the Federal Reseve last week, Boxer, Feinsrein and every Democratic Senator voted no? Why? They complain about the Republican Party and then vote against government transparency? There is not enough oversight by the media when it comes to the projects our legislators are working on or the ramifications those decisions will have once enacted.

    Reply this comment
  3. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 17 January, 2016, 08:42

    How did CWD find Teddy Steals pic for that CDL??

    Reply this comment
  4. Dude
    Dude 17 January, 2016, 11:31

    This author frames “raids” like they’ve a bad or illegal/immoral thing. Our laws dictate that illegal aliens in OUR country be deported. There should be raids in the workplace and at schools. The real crime is that our elected officials act on behalf of illegal aliens instead of the Americans that put them in office. I relish the hateful responses my comments are sure to generate. They validate my position.

    Reply this comment
    • Queeg
      Queeg 17 January, 2016, 12:15

      Comrade Dude

      Chill. You’re a grain of sand in the big Village. Penning nasties no improve one’s destiny.

      Reply this comment
  5. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 17 January, 2016, 13:57

    The new california Drivers Licenes a new wway for illegal aliens(Future demacratic voters)to run down and kill more pedestreans

    Reply this comment
  6. eck
    eck 19 January, 2016, 22:49

    “granting the identifying documents to immigrants who may be in the country illegally” – say what? May be?? They are 99.9% illegals. This stupid Kabuki dance around the obvious is sickening. What is it about “not legal” is so hard to understand. This state is so, so, going (has gone?) into the toilet.

    Reply this comment

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