Friday, September 13, 2013

More on the Bill to Grant Driver's Licenses to Undocumented Immigrants

Legislation passed last night to grant driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants will require the Dept. of Motor Vehicles to develop a license with a special watermark on it indicating that the license is for driving only and not for identification purposes, a provision that will indicate that the holder is indeed undocumented.   The Los Angeles Times reports the license will include the mark DP (driver's privilege) and not DL (driver's license), with a notation that would say the document "does not establish eligibility for employment or public benefit."

Some supporters of driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants are nevertheless disappointed about the mark because of fears it could be used as a red flag for federal immigration enforcement action (i.e. deportation).   The bill's strongest supporters say, however, that even with this provision,   potentially licensing over a million more people will improve safety and actually prevent undocumented drivers from losing their cars or even worse when pulled over for routine traffic stops.

See this piece on the ABC news website titled "Why Driver's Licenses Matter for Undocumented Immigrants."

For some enforcement perspective, both pro and con, read this second Los Angeles Times story here.

Finally, here is a fascinating story from the Seattle Times in June explaining that California is joining 10 other states in issuing licenses to undocumented immigrants.


  1. So now that this has passed will it be easier for immigrants to obtain citizenship in the near future and will this have any implications on the strict laws faced by Mexican Americans in Arizona in terms of amending the laws and making them less strict or completely eliminating the law as a whole?

  2. I am honestly on the fence about this law. One would have to analyze both sides and determin which side would benefit America and its people more. Although this would make our roads much safer, it would also significantly expand the number of illegal immagrants coming into America. With this law, America is more appealing to people in other countries. This also may create bigger problems in americas future. Despite all these observations, i agree with Aidan and others that this could be one step closer to becoming legal American citizens. Overall i believe this could be positive for the American people.