Saturday, December 27, 2014

California's Illegal Immigrants To Become "Documented" Illegal Immigrants


California to Issue Driver’s Licenses to the Undocumented

SAN FRANCISCO – California has wrapped up the final preparations for issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.

Though technically the new law will take effect on Jan. 1, not until next Friday will undocumented immigrants residing in California be able to head for the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to apply for a driver’s license.

“We’ve been getting ready for over a year. We are definitely ready,” California DMV spokesman Armando Botello said.

With the new law, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in October 2013, undocumented immigrants will be able to get a driver’s license.

The only documents applicants must present will be an identity document issued in their country of origin and another proving that they currently reside in California.

As is the case with other driver’s license applicants, the undocumented must pass a vision test, a written exam and an on-the-road driving test to obtain the license that, after complying with all the requisites, they will receive in a period of between six and eight weeks.

The California state government negotiated the characteristics of driver’s licenses for the undocumented with the federal Department of Homeland Security, and both agreed that the licenses must include statements excluding them from any other use besides driving.

The California government estimates that some 1.4 million undocumented immigrants will apply for licenses over the next three years, for which a special budget allocation has been established specifically to cover the expected large volume of applications.

Part of this money has already been used to open four new DMV offices and to hire 900 new employees in order to handle the applications more quickly and easily.

The new offices will be manned by personnel especially trained to deal with widely disparate cases among the applicants and will be capable of attending them in English, Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian and other languages.

Since Nov. 21, applicants have been able to book an appointment in DMV offices for 2015.

Up to now, around 400,000 applications have been registered, more than twice as many as in the same period last year, while more than half of them were made by people applying for a driver’s license for the first time, the DMV said.


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