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Thread: California driver licenses for some illegal immigrants flares into burning question

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ratbstard's Avatar
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    California driver licenses for some illegal immigrants flares into burning question

    California driver licenses for some illegal immigrants flares into burning question

    By Matt O'Brien
    Contra Costa Times
    Posted: 08/20/2012 10:34:32 AM PDT
    Updated: 08/21/2012 06:54:25 AM PDT


    Relief arrives for young illegal immigrants
    U.S. Rep. Mike Honda interacts with local immigrants, who wanted use only their first names (L to R) Nelson, Claudia and Grecia, who plan to apply for the "deferred action" program, before a news conference at the Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County headquarters in San Jose, Calif. on Aug. 15, 2012. The three immigrants worn graduation gowns to symbolize their education and career aspirations. Amid warnings that it is not a permanent solution, the federal government launched an immigration relief initiative Wednesday for more than 1.5 million young illegal immigrants who could seek work permits and protection from deportation. (Dai Sugano/Staff)

    The state Department of Motor Vehicles is waffling on whether it will issue driver's licenses to young illegal immigrants who qualify for an Obama administration deportation reprieve.

    Late Monday afternoon, the agency seemed to take a middle course between its statement last week that it would issue drivers licenses and one early Monday that it was "not absolutely certain" licenses could be issued.

    By late Monday afternoon, the DMV position was:

    "It appears that young people who receive federal deferrals will be eligible for California driver's licenses, but it remains uncertain whether clarifying legislation or regulations will be necessary."

    What that means, said Mike Marando, a top spokesman for the agency, is that if the work visa the federal government issues is new or different, state legislation might be necessary to accept it as a driver license document.

    On Wednesday, the first day of a federal program that sets aside the deportation threat and grants work permits for qualifying young illegal immigrants -- some 400,000 in California alone -- the DMV said those who have work permits can apply for California driver's licenses.

    "Do they qualify for a driver's license? The answer is yes," said Marando, deputy director of communications for the state agency, on Wednesday night.

    Then, the agency backtracked Monday morning:

    "The implications of the federal government's decision are not completely clear because they only started accepting applications," Marando said in an e-mailed statement.

    Advocates on both sides of the politically charged illegal immigration debate are demanding answers soon from Gov. Jerry Brown and the DMV.

    "There's a way to solve it. The governor, I think, has the power to do that but he's been silent so far," said Lizbeth Mateo, an organizer for DreamActivist California who is eligible for the new work permits.

    The 27-year-old Los Angeles activist said driving is essential to get to most jobs in California. She wants Brown to show the state to be "the leader in the way undocumented youth should be treated."

    On the other side is Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Hesperia, who says Brown "should come out very clearly and explain why one of his agencies has decided to just go rogue and hand out what was once one of the most secure documents in the world."

    Donnelly on Monday sent a formal inquiry demanding more information from the DMV and warned that the license could become a "gateway ID" leading to other benefits.

    Fine print on every California license says it is "a license to drive a motor vehicle; it does not establish eligibility for employment, voter registration, or public benefits."

    Still, Donnelly said it also "allows you to board a plane and do a whole lot of other things, whether it says it on the back or not."

    Since 1993, California has required proof of legal U.S. residency to get a license, but it remains unclear whether state officials will interpret the Obama administration work permits as proof of temporary U.S. residency.

    DMV officials said they have long accepted as proof of legal presence a temporary "employment authorization card" issued to some immigrants.

    Virginia has already said it will issue licenses to those who get deferred action, according to an Aug. 7 letter from its DMV commissioner to the American Civil Liberties Union.

    Arizona and Nebraska announced that they will refuse to grant any state benefits, including driver's licenses to young illegal immigrants getting federal work permits, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry's office said Monday that the federal program does not affect the state's requirement that Texans prove legal residency before obtaining a license, according to the Texas Tribune.

    The Department of Homeland Security last week began accepting "deferred action" applications from 16- to 30-year-old immigrants who meet certain criteria, but left it for states to determine whether to grant other benefits.

    "DHS doesn't comment on state-specific matters," said spokesman Peter Boogaard.

    Among the other documents already accepted to obtain a California driver's license are U.S. birth certificates, passports or permanent resident cards, Canadian passports or birth certificates, American Indian cards, Northern Mariana cards, refugee travel documents and an immigration judge's order granting political asylum.

    California driver licenses for some illegal immigrants flares into burning question - ContraCostaTimes.com
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    HAPPY2BME likes this.
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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    Might the hesitation be caused by threats of cancellation of reciprocol agreements from other states (maybe AZ, NE)? Just wondering?

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    August 30, 2012

    Driver's licenses for "deferred action" immigrants clear California Legislature

    By Jim Sanders

    Legislation to ensure that hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants will be eligible for California driver licenses is headed to the governor.

    The final legislative vote on the measure came Thursday night, when the Assembly concurred in amendments, 55-15.

    Assembly Bill 2189 would apply to an estimated 400,000 undocumented immigrants expected to meet the requirements of President Obama's new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

    Assemblyman Gil Cedillo proposed the legislation as part of a decade-long campaign to give undocumented immigrants the right to apply for California driver's licenses.

    AB 2189 would apply to less than one of every four undocumented immigrants in California, the Los Angeles Democrat said.


    Cedillo contends that issuing driver's license to undocumented immigrants would enhance public safety by ensuring that they are trained and tested before hitting the road.

    Opponents have thwarted Cedillo's legislation in years past, arguing that providing new benefits to undocumented immigrants is a slap in the face to native Californians and to people who entered the country legally.

    President Obama's new federal program provides a new twist by giving a select group of undocumented immigrants the right to live and work in the United States for two years without fear of deportation.

    The program is meant for longtime California residents who came to the United States as undocumented immigrants when they were young and generally have lived productive lives since then.

    The California Department of Motor Vehicles has said that participants' federal status under Deferred Action apparently would make them eligible for driver's licenses.

    A lingering question, however, was whether the "employment authorization card" likely to be provided to Deferred Action participants would qualify as one of 27 documents that the DMV accepts as proof of legal presence.

    Cedillo's AB 2189 would end any confusion by specifying that, yes, the DMV could accept a Deferred Action document.

    Deferred Action participants must be between the ages of 15 and 31, they must have come to the United States before age 16, and they must have lived here continuously for the last five years.


    Participants must have been honorably discharged from the U.S. military or must currently be in school, have graduated, or have obtained a high school equivalency certificate. They cannot have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, three or more misdemeanors, and they cannot otherwise pose a threat.

    Capitol Alert: Driver's licenses for "deferred action" immigrants clear California Legislature
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevinssdad View Post
    Might the hesitation be caused by threats of cancellation of reciprocol agreements from other states (maybe AZ, NE)? Just wondering?
    RELATED
    Even in some states that have passed strong anti-illegal immigration laws, such as Georgia, driver's licenses may be available to undocumented immigrants who qualify under the new policy.

    Under current Georgia law, people with deferred status can get a license, and that's what the state will do unless it gets different orders, said Susan Sports, spokeswoman for the state's Department of Driver Services.
    http://www.alipac.us/f12/drivers-lic...debate-262893/
     
     

    ==========================================

    Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio are planning to provide driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants who get work papers under a new federal policy.

    http://www.alipac.us/f12/driver-lice...youths-263209/
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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  6. #6
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevinssdad View Post
    Might the hesitation be caused by threats of cancellation of reciprocol agreements from other states (maybe AZ, NE)? Just wondering?
    Or maybe because they know Gov. Brown might VETO it anyway.


    Feb. 23, 2012
    http://www.alipac.us/f12/ca-gov-brow...aliens-251557/

    Jan. 5, 2011
    http://www.alipac.us/f12/ca-gov-brow...nities-213054/
    and as state attorney general ratified the agreement with the federal government.
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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  7. #7
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    RELATED

    The DMV announced earlier this month it would issue driver's licenses to people who receive a work permit under the new program. In a statement to the North County Times Wednesday, the DMV backtracked, saying it was not clear what documents the federal government would give people and whether those documents met state regulations to issue the licenses.

    http://www.alipac.us/f12/obama-work-...loyers-263423/
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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