It’s Unanimous: Both Houses of the California Legislature Are Out of Step with Californians, and the DMV, on Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Aliens

FAIR Calls on Gov. Schwarzenegger to Veto S.B. 60 (Again!)

LOS ANGELES, June 28 — While a recent Field Poll indicates that Californians overwhelmingly oppose granting driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, and representatives of the California Department of Motor Vehicles testified against the bill before the legislature, the Assembly Transportation Committee has endorsed a Senate bill that would do precisely that. S.B. 60, which passed the California Senate earlier this month, is now headed to the full Assembly where it is likely to be approved as well.

The version of S.B. 60 cleared by the Assembly Transportation Committee is a slightly altered version of the one vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last year. As a concession to the REAL ID Act, signed by President Bush last month, the current version of S.B. creates a license that is valid for all purposes, except as a federally accepted identity document. The California illegal alien driver’s license would allow people who are in the country illegally to use their licenses to do everything except board a commercial airliner, or enter a federal building.

“With illegal immigrants costing California an estimated $10.5 billion a year for education, health care and incarceration, most Californians are incredulous that the legislature continues to do everything in its power to encourage more illegal immigration,” commented Dan Stein, president of FAIR. FAIR, a national organization, has about 35,000 members in California.

The REAL ID Act was passed in response to last summer’s 9/11 Commission report which cited access to driver’s licenses and other vital identity documents as integral to the plans of the terrorists who attacked our country. “The importance of state-issued driver’s licenses to the terrorists went beyond merely using them as ID to board the planes they turned into weapons of mass destruction on Sept. 11, 2001,” observed Stein. “They were integral to every step of the planning process, from opening bank accounts, to renting safe houses, to renting cars, and generally avoiding detection.”

Federal regulations for implementing the REAL ID Act have not been finalized. Both the governor and DMV officials have called passage of S.B. 60 premature. Failure to conform to new federal regulations for driver’s license security could invalidate California’s license as a federally acceptable form of identification.

“We strongly urge Gov. Schwarzenegger to exercise his veto power, yet again, to protect the interests of law-abiding Californians who have been bearing a tremendous cost for runaway illegal immigration. It was the right thing to do last year and it is still the right thing to do, not to mention what the overwhelming majority of Californians want him to do,” said Stein.

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