California's Drivers Licenses For Illegal Aliens
California’s Department of Motor Vehicles is now gearing up for the anticipated 1.4 million illegal aliens applying for California drivers’ licenses commencing January 1, 2015. The DMV anticipates hiring 822 – 1,000 new employees (depending on who’s giving the estimate) by September 2014, opening additional temporary offices in California’s South Central Coast, Los Angeles, San Jose, Orange County and San Diego, and using existing DMV offices to accommodate the 3-year influx of applications.
California joined fewer than 10 other states in allowing drivers’ licenses for illegal aliens by passing Assembly Bill AB-60 in October 2013. As stated and implemented by the DMV, the law will allow an applicant to obtain a driver’s license without proof that he/she is legally present in the U. S. (for example, by Social Security Number); however, the applicant will still be obligated to satisfy all other requirements for obtaining a California driver’s license, including other valid ID and proof of California residency, and to pay the standard $33 application fee.
Predictably, the law is both praised and criticized. Proponents deem it a long-overdue aspect of immigration reform that will increase safety for all and assist illegal aliens in transporting themselves and their children without fearing arrest, car impoundment or tickets. Detractors view the law as a reward for illegal behavior, and an expensive one at that: implementation will reportedly cost $64.7 million from January 1 – July 1, 2015 and as much as $220 million during the first 3 years, though application fees are expected to defray $46 million of the cost. The law’s opponents also complain that it conflicts federal law and that the eased ID requirements welcome fraud. Supported or opposed, the measure will launch in 2015, and the DMV is recruiting, hiring, training and ironing out details to ensure the smoothest possible procedures.
By Kathy Catanzarite
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