Skip to comments.CA: Driver's license bill clears crucial first test in Legislature
Posted on 06/15/2004 5:29:58 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
SACRAMENTO (AP) - A bill allowing an estimated 2 million illegal immigrant drivers in California to get legal driver's licenses cleared a Senate committee Tuesday, which was the bill's first hurdle in the Legislature.
The latest attempt to make illegal immigrants eligible for the licenses, the bill would require applicants who cannot prove legal residency in California to be fingerprinted, undergo background checks and get adult sponsors. Illegal immigrants would pay $146 for a license to cover extra costs of guaranteeing that licenses aren't used as a tool for terrorists to move freely in California.
Senate Transportation Committee Democrats favored the bill, while Republicans opposed the fourth attempt since 2001 by Sen. Gil Cedillo to overturn a 1994 ban on licenses for those who cannot prove they live legally in California. The bill passed 6-3.
"The challenge of leadership is to do what is right even it's not popular," Cedillo told committee members Tuesday when reminded that 70 percent of Californians opposed the Los Angeles Democrat's similar 2003 bill that was passed and signed by former Gov. Gray Davis only to be repealed last December under pressure from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Davis vetoed Cedillo's bill in 2002. In 2001, Cedillo withdrew it from the governor's desk after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks revealed that some of the terrorists had California driver's licenses. Florida lawmakers also recently abandoned efforts to pass an immigrant driver's license bill after law enforcement officials raised security concerns.
The Democrat's newest attempt must pass the full Senate and Assembly by Aug. 31 and be signed by Schwarzenegger by Sept. 30 to become law.
Schwarzenegger has already expressed reservations about the bill, saying he prefers that licenses be specially marked to indicate the holder is an illegal immigrant.
As in previous years, the hearing and the partisan committee votes revealed the popular rifts in California over illegal immigration that comes largely from Central America and Mexico. Conservatives, liberals, labor unions, religious groups, police officers and population control advocates sparred again Tuesday over rights owed a largely poor population residing in the state illegally, but working menial jobs unwanted by most citizens.
"They are embedded in the foundation of our economy," said Cedillo, who noted that 90 percent of the state's agricultural workers, 75 percent of its maids and 65 percent of its gardeners are illegal immigrants. "This is a reality we must accept."
Backers of the license law portrayed it largely as a public safety issue to test, license and insure hundreds of thousands of Californians who drive without any of the three, while opponents dubbed it a reward for people who have broken the law to live in the state. Republican activists also vowed to mount an initiative campaign to overturn the law if the Legislature passed it. Adding to the complexity, Hispanic civil rights advocates oppose the bill, saying it offers illegal immigrants no confidentiality with authorities regarding their illegal status.
"Without confidentiality, this thing will dissuade people from applying," said Francisco Estrada, lobbyist for the Los Angeles-based Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
Under the bill, citizens lacking a U.S. Social Security number would have to provide a passport or card issued by their consulate to apply, identifying themselves as illegal residents.
"This bill is really worse than the last one that was signed into law," said former Sen. Richard Mountjoy, R-Monrovia. He said an adult could sponsor an unlimited number of illegal residents for driver's licenses and predicted that a court challenge would throw out the extra costs required of applicants for background checks.
Mountjoy helped pass a bill in 1993 that overturned California's traditional practice - still used in 10 states - of not requiring proof of citizenship to get a drivers' license. The bill, authored by Assemblyman Alfred Alquist, D-San Jose, passed with support from Republicans and Democrats.
On the Net:
Read SB1160 at http://www.legislature.ca.gov
They're persistent aren't they? The only hope is Arnold will veto any license bill since the demos are bound and determined to shove this down people's throats.
One good sign is all the Republicans opposed the bill. Given the Demoncats control over the California legislature the bill will surely pass. The questions is if the bill passes with a 2/3s majority, which would require some Republican votes. From what I understand in that case the law, if Arnold signs it, cannot be overturned by a referendum.
To have such licenses, they should show proof of who they are, perhaps be made to put up a bond and their licenses should be another color, be connected to having insurance and not be allowed to be used to drive any employer's vehicle.
America disappearing before our eyes.
Arnold said he wants some sort of "alien" designation on the license. Cedillio and the pro-illegal crowd will never go for that.
The license should not be acceptable for any show of proof or for use on any application for government or state use beyond driving.
Can't be used to get food stamps, welfare or other goodies.
I just love how the politicians are kowtowing to the immigrant lobby. Haven't we seen enough of the schools deteriorating from overcrowding, the freeways falling apart, and now they want to deligitimize the de facto id one's drivers license.
And any such license issued should preclude its holder from voting. Cedillio and the pro-illegal crowd will never go for that either.
The same clowns compare this designation to the Nazis. Pretty disguisting.
What a country.
Its worse than you think. With motor voter law if this bill becomes law all these illegals can register to vote while getting their license.
Make no mistake...that is why they want them.
They're in this country ILLEGALLY; do they really care if they drive ILLEGALLY?
Make that part of the bill.
This may not be taken as ID for any US social services or any benefits whatsoever.
And if shown at a polling place its holder is denied the right to vote.
They never owned a car while in Mexico because the illegals who come to California are the bottom of Mexican society.
I guess a vote for Arnie will have been a vote for Busty , in that case. How ironic. ;-)
The great congressman from Colorado Tom Tranchero (?) proposed a law saying that drivers licenses from states that allow illegals to obtain one would not be valid for airport screening.
Most all the elite politicos in this country are bent on legalizing illegal aliens, and undermining our borders and sovereignty. This is just part of the plan. Incrementally, one step at a time.
That's why it also needs to be a different color.
Maybe design such licenses in a portrait format to make the difference undeniable.
If caught signing up to vote or doing so, start with two mandatory years in prison.
I get a kick out of the background check part. By definition, any complete background check is going to have to go to another country, unless the illegal has lived here for a looonnng time. I've been involved in this - some of these third and almost third world countries practically laugh in the investigators' faces when they try to get information. Or just "never get around to it."
I agree, there would be nothing legal or identifying about the ID except for driving.
It should be a different color, require a bond to be posted and theirs should be portrait instead of our landscape format.
On a local talk radio show there was a comment that a thorough background check costs several hundred dollars not $140 extra as in this bill.
The Democrats stick a thumb in the eye of 70% of Californians. They don't get it - Arnold signs this into law, he's toast in 2006. In the meantime, we'll take this to a referendum if they really push ahead with this handout to illegal aliens.
If these loons pull this off....
"NOT A US CITIZEN" need to be stamped across the front in big bold letters along with..."NOT ALLOWED TO VOTE"
A lot of places are so lax that all they require for a voter is the DL. And don't think for a minute that dems don't have that in mind.
Why are folks shocked. Arnie is a RINO.
He is gonna "reluctantly" campaign for the GOP.
California had a real chance to fix their problems when the got that idiot Davis outa office...instead they put in a Kennedy.
No we don't.
The license should not be
acceptable for any show of proof or for use on any application for government or state use beyond driving issued to an illegal alien.
You do not need a driver's license or a state ID card to register to vote in California. You can pick up a voter registration form at a variety of venues, fill it out, and mail it in.
There is a space on the form to fill in your license or ID number ...BUT... the following is also on the same form:
CA Driver's License or CA ID Card Number: No person shall be denied the right to register because of his or her failure to furnish a California driver's license or California identification card number. (Optional)
Folks, in 1994 sixty percent of us said NOOOOOOOOOOOO! (Gov. Dufus worked out a deal to get our Prop 187 killed)
Last year we said NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! again and replaced Dufus.
Today seventy percent of us say NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! means NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Everything you say is true, but the Democrats figure they can get them to vote for them some way and the President of Mexico considers America an expected revenue source from illegals to be depended on back in his country.
It is a real issue.
Not a real one. If they want an illegal driving alien card, fine.
Call the governor's office and ask them why Arnold wants this bill. They have a funny way of answering direct questions.
And that's a bad thing?
This story doesn't answer the key question: Will this bill be voted on as an "urgency bill," which would prevent it from going to the ballot? If so, 2/3rds of the legislature must vote Aye. Given the demonstrated intense unpopularity of driver's licenses for illegals, there would not be the
necessary six Republican votes in the Assembly, and Arnold would be off the hook. If the legislature passes it as a normal bill, something the Dems of course can accomplish on their own with votes to spare, it would ignite another firestorm, go on the ballot (unless the "Nutty Ninth" Circuit finds a way to prevent that) and lose by a healthy margin.
The only bad thing about Arnold's very high job-approval numbers is that he might be tempted to think he can shaft the Republican -- strike that, the non-liberal -- base by signing this thing and still get away with it politically.
I see that Cedillo, the diehard racist that he is, is still pushing his driver's licenses for illegal alien lawbreakers bill. Cedillo will do anything to help his fellow Latinos, the illegal aliens. With people like Cedillo, a person's race takes priority over a person's nationality.
I can only imagine the turmoil that would take place in this state if these opinions were in the majority and our government in California simply opened up our tax coffers and our property rights to every poor person in Mexico and allowed the Mexican government to divvy up the spoils.
I would be right of Reagan in my politics, so if that is liberal by your standards, you must be some ball of fire.
Bottom line on the issue for me is that if there is this card, that it has no value as ID for anything else but the road.
As it is they can legally drive here with the license from their own country, so why the need for the new license.
The real battle is that our liberals want the SAME drivers license for illegals as the citizens and that won't do because they would use it to access the system, so my idea is:
Give them a new card they can't get benefits from and make it distinctly different from a normal license.
Make them post a bond of 10,000 to drive here with that license.
Don't allow that license to be used for employment here as a driver.
Don't make that license any form of legal document for anything but driving.
You would not be able to use the liscence for bank accounts, but may be used for getting insurance and that is it.
Maybe they should also be forced on a semi-yearly basis to show a proof of maintaining insurance while here.
The card should not prevent them in any way from being booted out if they on some other occasion are discovered here as illegals.
1. The proponents of this bill state that it's about "highway safety"... if that were the case, then why does the bill also allow California ID Cards to be issued to illegal aliens as well?? (see below text from the bill):
Existing law requires the department to require every applicant for an original driver's license or identification card to submit satisfactory proof that the applicant's presence in the United States is authorized under federal law and prohibits the department from issuing a license or card to a person who does not do so. Existing law requires the department to adopt regulations, including procedures for verifying citizenship or legal residency of applicants for driver's licenses and identification cards.
This bill would repeal those requirements.
2. They are trying to make this bill "referendum proof" by passing it as an "urgency statute". If this passes in its present form, it will take effect immediately after the Governor signs it. The earliest a referendum could reach the ballot is March 2005. By then hundreds of thousands of these illegal alien licenses will have been issued. Here is the urgency language in the bill:
This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are: In order to reduce the number of unlicensed drivers on our highways, who account for 20 percent of all accidents and, thereby, compromise public safety, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.
Presently they both are sucking the life out of the public revenue stream.
The first two gone should be Cedillo and Nunez, both anchor babies.
The liberal has been deeply set here and well funded. I suspect because of the entertainment industry that there has been that long time foot hold here.
President Reagan was here representing their actors union long ago and saw also the communist threat inside it.
The way a liberal gets power is by coveting and accessing another's goods. They they use that money to grow their voting base through government/union employment and dependence programs IMO.
The way we take back California is to in small steps educate the public and generate appropriate candidates that can slowly bring the middle voter to the conservative side of the isle.
It will be a slow but worthwhile process.