Assemblymember Brown Tackles Issue of Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants
A stakeholder meeting was held to discuss the process of implementing AB 60, a new law that allows the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants beginning January 1, 2015.
The first meeting was held at the District Office of Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown and included representation from the DMV, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the Consulado de Mexico, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Inland Congregations United for Change (ICUC), Latinas Educated And Empowering Communities, and Centro del Immigrante (Cdell).
“As our state begins to advance immigration reform, our implementation of AB 60 will be an indication as to how we, as leaders, ensure that laws like this are not used to discriminate nor punish based on immigration status,” said Assemblymember Brown.
California is home to the largest immigrant population in the nation. According to a 2011 census report, California’s immigrant population represents nearly 2.6 million of the nation’s 11 million total. In California, undocumented immigrants account for seven percent of the total population and nine percent of the state’s workforce.
Given California’s large immigrant population, stakeholders expressed a concern for immigrants becoming a target of abuse by law enforcement and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency due to the special identification symbol that’s embedded on the license. However, stakeholders were reassured that under AB 60, law enforcement officers are not permitted to target immigrants for criminal investigation, arrest or detention based on their immigration status.
DMV offices currently offer literature and free online pre-testing for individuals seeking to take advantage of AB 60. The tests and literature are available in ten different languages. Once the driver’s license application becomes available, a workshop will be held by Assemblymember Brown and key stakeholders to give constituents an opportunity to learn more about obtaining a California driver’s license under AB 60.
For more information, contact Ashley Jones at (909) 381-3238.