Driver’s licenses for immigrants debated in California

US FlagActivists in the area of Sacramento in California are pushing hard in order to try to reform the state’s policies in regards to immigration.  There are a series of bills on their way through the legislature in California that have the potential to open the state up to being one of the country’s most immigration-friendly places, according to the Huffington Post.

A bill referred to as AB 60 should, if it passes, allow millions of immigrants living in California to be able to get a driver’s license.  The Los Angeles Times says that critics fear such a bill would enable undocumented immigrants to hide behind federal and state immigration laws, but two well known officers in the form of LA County Sheriff, Lee Baca, and the Los Angeles Police Department’s Chief, Charlie Beck, support the bill, wanting to send a message to immigrants that the police want to work with local residents regardless of their immigration status.

The bill has been sent to California Governor Jerry Brown.  Police say that immigrants who are unable to get hold of car insurance tend to end up in more hit and run incidents, a statistic that is expected to fall if the bill is passed.

If licenses are indeed issued, they would include a special watermark indicating that the card only authorizes driving and is not to be used as a form of identification.  Supporters insist that the legislation would make Californian roads safer.