After a great deal of discussion and debate the state of California has made the decision to allow undocumented immigrants to be able to put in an application for a driver’s license. Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill on Thursday October 4th, which caused celebration for many of the state’s immigrant community.
The driver’s licenses will come with special markings to show law enforcement that they are not be used as federal identification but they will, however, still enable undocumented immigrants to legally own and operate a motor vehicle. Under past laws undocumented immigrants who were caught driving often found themselves being subjected to federal immigration screenings and were frequently deported, with their cars impounded. The new bill takes away the great majority of that anxiety.
The decision is supported by the police, who believe that the streets will be much safer as a result, according to the Associated Press. The reality is that undocumented immigrants were still driving motor vehicles regardless of the law, but now they are able to do so legally and can learn how to do so safely without being fearful of arrest in the event of any complications.
“That’s what this bill is about, making the streets of this state safer,” Charlie Beck, the Police Chief of Los Angeles, noted at the signing ceremony, which took place outside of City Hall. The bill has made provisions in order to protect drivers, making it illegal for police to arrest or investigate someone’s immigration status due to the license.