Life may be easier for a number of California immigrants if a bill sent to Governor Jerry Brown is signed into law. The bill forwarded back on September 12th would allow immigrants in California to obtain a driver's license. This is only one of a number of measures proposed that might help strengthen the rights of immigrants in California.
As the law currently stands, when an immigrant is pulled over for a routine traffic stop that person is also in danger of having their car impounded. Immigrants also sometimes have been unable to gain access to car insurance as well, and this can create another set of legal issues. Passage of this bill would also bring to a complete halt the practice of certain law enforcement departments of impounding cars as a means of making money for the police department.
This bill allows undocumented immigrants to be issued a driver's license as well. Drivers would still need to meet all other requirements that come along with being allowed to drive, but they would not be required to offer proof of citizenship.
Sadly, without transportation it's almost impossible for anyone to hold onto a job. The hope is that this bill would allow these individuals to make it to work both legally and safely.
Though it's anticipated that this bill will be signed into law, we will still need to wait a bit longer to make certain this is the case. In the meantime, immigrants may still wish to bring their concerns to attorneys about enforcement of criminal act provisions currently on the book that could result in hardship.
There likely will be a number of other changes we will see concerning immigration law in the near future.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "California's immigrant driver's license bill is driving debate," Richard Winton, Kate Mather and Hector Becerra, Sep. 13, 2013