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Thread: New Driver's License law in California

  1. #1
    Guest
    Davis signs driver's license bill
    Law aiding illegal immigrants is a ploy for Latino votes, foes say.
    By Emily Bazar -- Bee Capitol Bureau
    Published 2:15 a.m. PDT Saturday, September 6, 2003
    Beginning Jan. 1, an estimated 2 million immigrants living in California illegally will be able to apply for and obtain driver's licenses.
    The controversial change was signed into law Friday by Gov. Gray Davis in a Department of Motor Vehicles office in an immigrant-heavy neighborhood of Los Angeles, culminating a years-long battle fought by immigrant-rights groups and certain lawmakers.

    The Democratic governor said the provisions of the measure, SB 60, will allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's training and purchase car insurance, making roads safer for all Californians.

    "Right now, let's not kid ourselves. People are driving to work," Davis said in a statement. "They're driving without demonstrating they know the rules of the road. They're driving without insurance. Everyone benefits by having drivers on the road know the rules of the road and presumably be a safer driver."

    The driver's license issue has been one of the top priorities for immigrant communities across the state, energizing them to hold rallies, call their lawmakers and pressure Davis to sign the bill, said Mark Silverman, director of immigration policy at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco.

    Immigrants argued that the measure would improve safety while giving them the opportunity to drive to work legally and take their children to school.

    "We should put ourselves in the place of someone who is afraid of taking his child to the hospital, who is afraid of driving to work, who is reluctant to buy a decent car because he's afraid of having it confiscated," Silverman said.

    But opponents accuse Davis of signing SB 60 to win votes in the Oct. 7 recall election.

    "He's getting an easy, cheap vote by lying and deceiving," said Carole Blalock, the immigration committee chairwoman for the European American Culture Council of Sacramento.

    Blalock argued that immigrants shouldn't be rewarded for entering the country illegally. She also believes that giving licenses to illegal immigrants poses security problems because documents can be faked.

    "It's a huge risk," Blalock said. "How do we know who they are? We had three of the terrorists come in through Mexico that bombed the New York towers."

    Before the governor signed the bill, talk radio shows in Southern California erroneously said his office had given advance notice only to Spanish-language media, in an effort to control news coverage.

    The governor's press office was flooded with calls from angry radio listeners.

    Opponents said they plan to announce Monday that they will work to overturn SB 60 by pushing for a ballot referendum.

    For decades, illegal immigrants were allowed to obtain driver's licenses in California. But beginning in 1994, immigrants had to prove they were here legally.

    Rather than stop driving, undocumented immigrants drove without licenses and insurance, said the measure's author, state Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles.

    Under the new rules, immigrants won't have to prove they're living in the country legally. Instead, they must provide a federal taxpayer identification number -- which can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service -- and a combination of other documents, such as a birth certificate, foreign driver's license, foreign passport or a matricula consular ID card issued by the Mexican government.

    Undocumented immigrants also will have to prove that they live in California by providing a water bill or rental receipt.

    Like everyone else applying for a license, they must also give a thumbprint or fingerprint, but the prints could not be used by immigration officials to determine a person's residency status.

    Twice before, Davis vetoed similar measures. Last year's version contained more security requirements than the current measure.

    In that bill, undocumented immigrants who wanted to obtain a driver's license had to be in the process of becoming legal permanent residents and had to undergo criminal background checks.

    This year's bill, which passed the Assembly and Senate on party-line votes, does not impose those security requirements.

    But some immigrant advocates say licenses aren't just about driving and security clearances. They also convey an important symbolic quality, said Fernando Cibrian, an organizer with PICO California Project.

    "There's a basic need to have an identity, to be important, to be recognized," Cibrian said. "It'll let them participate, feel better about calling the police. It will allow them to represent themselves."



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    About the Writer
    ---------------------------

    The Bee's Emily Bazar can be reached at (916) 321-1016 or ebazar@sacbee.com. Margaret Talev of The Bee Capitol Bureau contributed to this report.


    - Get the whole story every day - SUBSCRIBE NOW!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    Source: Department of Motor Vehicles; state Legislature

    Sacramento Bee/Olivia Nguyen

  2. #2
    Guest
    Davis signs driver's license bill
    Law aiding illegal immigrants is a ploy for Latino votes, foes say.
    By Emily Bazar -- Bee Capitol Bureau
    Published 2:15 a.m. PDT Saturday, September 6, 2003
    Beginning Jan. 1, an estimated 2 million immigrants living in California illegally will be able to apply for and obtain driver's licenses.
    The controversial change was signed into law Friday by Gov. Gray Davis in a Department of Motor Vehicles office in an immigrant-heavy neighborhood of Los Angeles, culminating a years-long battle fought by immigrant-rights groups and certain lawmakers.

    The Democratic governor said the provisions of the measure, SB 60, will allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's training and purchase car insurance, making roads safer for all Californians.

    "Right now, let's not kid ourselves. People are driving to work," Davis said in a statement. "They're driving without demonstrating they know the rules of the road. They're driving without insurance. Everyone benefits by having drivers on the road know the rules of the road and presumably be a safer driver."

    The driver's license issue has been one of the top priorities for immigrant communities across the state, energizing them to hold rallies, call their lawmakers and pressure Davis to sign the bill, said Mark Silverman, director of immigration policy at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco.

    Immigrants argued that the measure would improve safety while giving them the opportunity to drive to work legally and take their children to school.

    "We should put ourselves in the place of someone who is afraid of taking his child to the hospital, who is afraid of driving to work, who is reluctant to buy a decent car because he's afraid of having it confiscated," Silverman said.

    But opponents accuse Davis of signing SB 60 to win votes in the Oct. 7 recall election.

    "He's getting an easy, cheap vote by lying and deceiving," said Carole Blalock, the immigration committee chairwoman for the European American Culture Council of Sacramento.

    Blalock argued that immigrants shouldn't be rewarded for entering the country illegally. She also believes that giving licenses to illegal immigrants poses security problems because documents can be faked.

    "It's a huge risk," Blalock said. "How do we know who they are? We had three of the terrorists come in through Mexico that bombed the New York towers."

    Before the governor signed the bill, talk radio shows in Southern California erroneously said his office had given advance notice only to Spanish-language media, in an effort to control news coverage.

    The governor's press office was flooded with calls from angry radio listeners.

    Opponents said they plan to announce Monday that they will work to overturn SB 60 by pushing for a ballot referendum.

    For decades, illegal immigrants were allowed to obtain driver's licenses in California. But beginning in 1994, immigrants had to prove they were here legally.

    Rather than stop driving, undocumented immigrants drove without licenses and insurance, said the measure's author, state Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles.

    Under the new rules, immigrants won't have to prove they're living in the country legally. Instead, they must provide a federal taxpayer identification number -- which can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service -- and a combination of other documents, such as a birth certificate, foreign driver's license, foreign passport or a matricula consular ID card issued by the Mexican government.

    Undocumented immigrants also will have to prove that they live in California by providing a water bill or rental receipt.

    Like everyone else applying for a license, they must also give a thumbprint or fingerprint, but the prints could not be used by immigration officials to determine a person's residency status.

    Twice before, Davis vetoed similar measures. Last year's version contained more security requirements than the current measure.

    In that bill, undocumented immigrants who wanted to obtain a driver's license had to be in the process of becoming legal permanent residents and had to undergo criminal background checks.

    This year's bill, which passed the Assembly and Senate on party-line votes, does not impose those security requirements.

    But some immigrant advocates say licenses aren't just about driving and security clearances. They also convey an important symbolic quality, said Fernando Cibrian, an organizer with PICO California Project.

    "There's a basic need to have an identity, to be important, to be recognized," Cibrian said. "It'll let them participate, feel better about calling the police. It will allow them to represent themselves."



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    About the Writer
    ---------------------------

    The Bee's Emily Bazar can be reached at (916) 321-1016 or ebazar@sacbee.com. Margaret Talev of The Bee Capitol Bureau contributed to this report.


    - Get the whole story every day - SUBSCRIBE NOW!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    Source: Department of Motor Vehicles; state Legislature

    Sacramento Bee/Olivia Nguyen

  3. #3
    Guest
    So my question for those who have read it and know more about this law, what kind of tax identification number can be obtained from IRS if the person is not working.

    Just wondering.

    Thanks.

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