LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A public hearing on regulations involving the pending issuance of California driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants was held Tuesday in downtown Los Angeles.
KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero reports the hearing is one of two events announced by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to receive public comments related to the implementation of Assembly Bill 60, the state law that directs DMV to issue driver licenses to undocumented California residents.
AB 60 requires the department to issue an original driver license to an applicant who is unable to submit satisfactory proof of legal presence in the United States. Driver license applicants under AB 60 must meet all other qualifications and must provide satisfactory proof of identity and California residency, according to DMV officials.
“We’ve been looking at every single document that has been presented to us and they have to meet certain requirements in terms of security,” said the DMV’s Armando Botello. “They have to be really secure in terms of how they are made and that they’re not easily copied.”
Last month, the DMV proposed regulations outlining how the agency will verify applicant identity and California residency for the state’s new driver’s license law. About 1.5 million unauthorized immigrants statewide will be eligible to become licensed and insured when the law comes into effect on January 1, 2015.
Among the proposals being considered includes allowing birth certificates or a Mexican consular card as a sole means of proving identity, according to the Orange County Register.
Angelica Salas, Executive Director of the Coalition For Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, told KCAL9’s Randy Paige says it’s important to include a combination of many documents to establish identity.
“The idea here is to be expansive in terms of all of the documents that are acceptable,” she said. “And our hope is that through all these regulations we really expand accessibility to as many people as possible and therefore truly make our roads as safe as possible.”
But some of the day’s speakers questioned whether the approach would be effective.
“I want them [the DMV] to know that we should not be giving people that are not here legally driver’s licenses,” Mike McGetridk said.
However, Isabelle Medina, who is among the estimated 1.5 million people who may be eligible, said it will be a time of celebration once those licenses are finally issued.
“Undocumented people like myself will be able to drive safely without the fear of being pulled over a police officer,” Medina said.
After the two public hearings, consideration of the public comment and any necessary revisions, DMV will deliver the proposed final regulations for review and approval.