California state legislators on Thursday voted to pass Assembly Bill 60 (AB-60), which would allow immigrants, including those here illegally, to obtain driving privileges.
Following the bill's passage—the state Assembly approved the bill on a 55-19 vote; the Senate, 28-8—Gov. Jerry Brown issued a statement indicating he will sign it.
“This bill will enable millions of people to get to work safely and legally. Hopefully, it will send a message to Washington that immigration reform is long past due," Brown said.
Licenses for people living in the country illegally would have a DP for "driver's privilege" rather than a DL for "driver's license" and would state that the document "does not establish eligibility for employment or public benefit," the Christian Science Monitor reported.
Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles indicated the bill doesn't go far enough but is a "step in the right direction."
"This bill responds to an urgent need by more than a million working men and women in California who want to be properly trained, drive without fear ... We will continue to work with the legislature, DMV, and other law enforcement agencies to ensure all qualified motorists in California, regardless of immigration status, get an opportunity and the privilege to drive without fear of persecution, bias, or racial profiling," she said.
But not every Californian is a fan. Davi Rodrigues of Save Our State, an anti-illegal-immigration activist group, said by passing the bill, the Legislature "has created yet another special class of persons who are to be exempted from average laws."
"Almost a quarter (23 percent) of the nation’s undocumented immigrants reside in California—by contrast, the state’s share of the nation’s overall population is only about one-eighth," the Institute reported.
—City News Service and Patch Staff contributed to this report.