The California Safe and Responsible Driver Act is a proposed bill to give a DMV-issued driver’s license to all illegal immigrants in California who can show proof of tax payment or insurance. Assembly Bill 60 (AB 60) was introduced by Luis Alejo (D- Salinas), following a new California law for 2013 which now grants state driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants who arrived in California as children.
"Having uninsured drivers is a hazard for everyone."Luis Alejo
AB 60 would make several changes regarding the eligibility requirements for an original driver’s license or state identification. The legislation will allow persons who do not have legal presence in the United States to be eligible to apply for a California license.
According to an article in the LA Times, Alejo estimates that there are up to one million illegal immigrants driving without licenses throughout the state.
“Having uninsured drivers is a hazard for everyone,” Alejo said. “The Safe and Responsible Driver Act improves safety on our roadways because it will ensure that immigrants that pay taxes will be eligible for a driver’s license with insurance requirements.”
The bill is opposed by Barbara Coe, president of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, co-authors of Proposition 187.
Prop. 187 sought to deny public benefits to illegal immigrants back in November, 1994.
Coe’s main concern is that DMV-provided driver’s licenses will allow illegal immigrants to access several rights and services reserved for American citizens.
While Coe raises obvious repercussions regarding illegal immigrants access to Americans’ rights, in the long run it seems beneficial to have uninsured drivers on the road be able to acquire insurance. Though this may stir some controversy throughout the country, California legislators are taking steps to streamline the immigration process for those who may or may not have arrived here illegally.
Join the discussion Please be relevant and respectful.
Finally, a bill that makes sense to keep our roads safer and to give an opportunity to immigrants who are driving anyway because they have to get to work and feed their families.
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If you pay taxes for the roads you're driving on, then you deserve the privilege to drive on them. And if you're paying taxes, then you're contributing to the country. If your contributing to the country, then you should be allowed to become a citizen.
Our country is in debt, don't we need more hard working people paying taxes?
I understand not wanting to reward those who break the law, but I can also see how unlicensed drivers are less accountable, and therefore the roads are less safe. It definitely protects law-abiding citizens who share the road with drivers from other backgrounds.
It's a tricky situation...while uninsured drivers are dangerous, giving them a license might cause backlash and lead to confusion over the rights of immigrants.
these types of initiatives are usually met with some skepticism as potential beneficiaries feel they'd be targeted by the government for participating
I am not sure if I would apply for such license as an illegal because it could notify my presence as an illegal alien to the government.