September 13, 2013
SACRAMENTO, CA – Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) played a critical role in advancing Assembly Bill (AB) 60 (Alejo), a bill to provide undocumented residents in California with a valid driver’s license.
Once considered dead for the 2013 legislative session, AB 60 was resuscitated by a handful of Senators, including Correa, as well as Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) on the final day of the session, passing the Senate and later the Assembly with bi-partisan support. The bill now goes to the Governor, who is expected to sign it.
“AB 60 marks a new day for immigrant rights,” said Correa. “Its passage will enable millions of people to drive to work safely and legally. The thousands of dollars in fees, traffic tickets, penalties and time spent in courthouses and impound yards will now be spent putting food on the table, paying for housing and providing for a child’s education,” he added.
Since 2001, the Legislature has sought to allow the issuance of driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. This year, AB 60 advanced through the legislature with broad support, but unexpectedly stalled in the waning days of the legislative session.
AB 60 requires a special mark and notation on the licenses. If signed by the Governor, it will allow nearly two million undocumented Californians to drive legally in our state.
“Immigrants working and taking care of their families in California have been looking over their shoulders, driving in fear, for far too long,” said Senator Kevin de Leόn (D-Los Angeles) who presented AB 60 on the Senate Floor. “This bill is the culmination of a decade of hard work. Finally, we will be able to safeguard our roads by requiring all drivers to be properly trained, licensed and insured.”
Within the last year, nine states and the District of Columbia as well as Puerto Rico have passed legislation to give the right to drive legally to all immigrants. All nine of these states implemented laws that have driver licenses with recognizable features on the front of the license in order to comply with federal law. These recognizable features were required to expressly comply with federal law, which California must also do.
“The political battle to secure the drivers’ license legislation has lasted for more than a decade and I am proud to stand with my colleagues in support of this important and long overdue measure,” said Correa.
Senator Correa’s comments on the Senate Floor can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrZ8Ob7KXNM
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