Two recent bills in the legislature aimed to granting driver licenses to undocumented drivers in California.
By H. Nelson Goodson
February 28, 2012
Los Angeles – Last week, State Assemblymember Gilbert “Gil” Anthony Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) submitted two proposed bills to reserve several legislative spots geared for unlicensed drivers . The Cedillo bills have yet to contain any exact wording pertaining to licenses, but has given the legislator enough time to draw up legislation allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for special driver license in California.
Assemblymember Cedillo was able to make last Friday’s deadline to submit bills for the year, especially when his final term ends in December. He won’t be able to get re-elected due to term limits.
Cedillo has a history of trying to authorized driver licenses for undocumented immigrants, but some of his bills have died in committee and others have been vetoed.
Last week, Cedillo told the Los Angeles Times that he was encouraged once again to submit bills by comments made by several law enforcement officials in support to allow undocumented drivers to get a license. The favorable comments came from both the Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.
Cedillo told the LA Times, “As we are now hearing from the police chief and the sheriff public safety has to be primary and we have to take politics out of public safety. Unlicensed motorists are more dangerous, and we have an opportunity to make sure every motorist is licensed.”
Governor Jerry Brown opposes granting driver licenses to undocumented immigrants in California.
A statewide campaign to allow driver licenses for undocumented immigrants has recently surged in the state.
Undocumented drivers continue to drive without licenses and most that are involved in hit-and-run accidents flee the scene. Those drivers detained without documentation or licenses, had their vehicles confiscated and towed to lots costing them hundreds of dollars to recover, which eventually they decide to forego the recovery of the vehicle. Unlicense drivers face fines of more than $2,000 per infraction.
The proposed Cedillo bill’s has infuriated anti-immigrant groups who are launching an all out oppostion campaign to granting licenses to illegals.
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Gilbert “Gil” Anthony Cedillo