SACRAMENTO, Calif. -
More illegal immigrants would receive California driver’s licenses under a bill recently introduced in the state legislature.
California is already one of more than two dozen states which allow people who were brought to the U.S. before they were 16, and meet other federal requirements, to obtain driver’s licenses.
The new bill by assemblyman Luis Alejo of Salinas would allow any illegal immigrant who can prove he or she pays income taxes to apply for a driver’s license.
Three other states, Illinois, Utah and Washington have already passed similar laws.
Alejo says the need for his bill is supported by a new DMV study which found unlicensed drivers cause nearly three times as many fatal accidents as licensed drivers.
But opponents object to giving undocumented immigrants a California ID card which can be used to board a plane or get taxpayer-funded benefits.
And assemblyman Tim Donnelly of San Bernardino says giving a document to someone isn’t going to automatically make them drive differently.
Alejo does say he may be able to craft a bill which limits the use of the ID card to driving only.