Millions of undocumented immigrants in California faced another frustration when the bill to let them obtain a driver’s license was shelved.
AB 60, introduced by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, died during this session in Sacramento because the original bill did not have enough support. Alejo decided to postpone it until next year.
In recent days, the bill underwent two changes that were made in order to obtain more support. First, it left it up to the Department of Motor Vehicles to determine which documents will be acceptable so that an undocumented immigrant can obtain a license. Second, at the request of Governor Brown, Alejo accepted that this license would be clearly marked with its limits for ID purposes in contrast with regular licenses. This means that anyone who sees this driver’s license will know that the license holder is undocumented.
The latter change is not right. Brown requested a type of marking that was not needed in other states around the country that issue licenses to these immigrants.
However, that alone should not be a reason to deprive those who need it from obtaining this permitpeople living on the brink of deportation. They need it with or without the markings.
Unfortunately, at the last minute, there were negotiations in which this bill was sacrificed in exchange for promoting others.
Again, as has happened before, people who are not experiencing the anxiety and suffering of being undocumented get to decide what is in the interest of undocumented immigrants. As a result, an essential measure disappears, as happened with AB 60.
For California not to have driver’s licenses for the undocumented when other states already have them is an embarrassment. The governor failed in making the request. But the Democratic majority in the legislatureand its alliesare the ones responsible for this new failure.