More than one million illegal immigrants living in California have received driver’s licenses, according to a new report.
The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles announced that as of March 31, 1,001,000 illegal immigrants have received licenses, The Sacramento Bee reported on Wednesday.
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Illegal immigrants have been legally allowed to obtain driver’s licenses in the state since Jan. 1, 2015 after Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 60, “The Safe and Responsible Drivers Act,” into law.
The bill was meant to help illegal immigrants “get to work, drive their children to school, and run everyday errands without the fear of being pulled over,” according to DriveCA.
The legislation is “working the way it was intended to and has dramatically improved the lives of a million immigrants and their families,” Luis Alejo, author of the bill in 2013 as a then-Democratic Assemblyman, told the newspaper in a statement.
“Immigrants are getting tested, licensed and insured and this is making our roads safer for everyone,” Alejo added.
The licenses “have a visible distinguishing feature and cannot be used for certain federal purposes,” such as gaining access to restricted federal areas, and don’t grant illegal immigrants the right to vote.
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California isn’t the only state that allows illegal immigrants to legally have a driver’s license.
Eleven other states — Colorado, Hawaii, Vermont, New Mexico, Maryland, Illinois, Delaware, Washington, Nevada, Connecticut and Washington, D.C. — also allow those without legal U.S. residency to apply for licenses if they can provide specific documentation, “such as a foreign birth certificate, a foreign passport, or a consular card and evidence of current residency in the state.”
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