Beneficiaries of deferred deportation action will be in the country legally and can study and work. They should also be able to legally drive a car. The Legislature and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) should reach an agreement to extend this privilege to these young men and women.
In California, issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants has been a politically thorny and controversial issue for years. This possibility, which has opened up because of the federal decision to allow a category of immigrants to stay, changes the conversation. They could possibly be issued licenses if they meet DMV requirements related to what a driver needs to know and have.
Refusing to grant them permission to drive can no longer be justified by saying their status is illegal. People can no longer claim, as some are, that giving them these documents is a breach of security that endangers everyone.
First, giving out IDs has always been positive for security, because it records a presence-with an actual address for sending the document-that would otherwise go unnoticed. Second, the cases of the beneficiaries of the immigration change will be reviewed one by one to determine whether they are eligible; one of the conditions to be met is not having committed serious crimes. Therefore, the issue of security is well covered this time.
At any rate, there will always be some who oppose any way of recognizing the presence of the undocumented, even when they are already in the process of obtaining papers.
Beneficiaries of deferred action will come out of the shadows they never chose, because they were minors. Now these Dreamers will be able to work, earn money and pay for insurance, and must have access to driver’s licenses.
The anti-immigrant extremism that prevails in Arizona and Texas has specifically banned issuing driver’s licenses to them. California must follow its own path, recognizing that fully including them in the economy helps everyone and that a driver’s license-especially in our state-is an important factor in someone’s working life.