Governor Brown OKs driver licenses for illegal immigrants

Oct 1, 2012

CA Governor Jerry Brown Holds News Conference On Pension Reform

Governor Brown signs a bill to allow young illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, what will the practical impact be?

Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Governor Jerry Brown has been working hard to clear his desk of the bills waiting for an approval or veto before a midnight deadline tonight. One such act of legislation that many Californians had their eyes on was Assemblyman Gil Cedillo’s (D-Los Angeles) AB 2189, which would grant driver licenses to some illegal immigrants.

Brown signed the measure into law with a statement that “the federal government should pursue comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.” The California law only applies to the illegal immigrants who are accepted into the Obama administration’s new federal work program. This pool is limited to those who were brought to the U.S. under the age of 16 and who are currently 30 or younger, not to mention other specific qualifications.

How many new drivers can Californians expect to see on the road now that this bill has been signed into law? What are the practical implications of such a change in policy? Will the roads become safer? Will this expedite a path to citizenship, as Brown hopes? Is there a substantial backlash to this development?


Jessica Vaughn, Director of Policy Studies, Center for Immigration Studies

Joseph Villela , director of policy and advocacy at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)

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