Raven Clabough
The New American
September 1, 2012

The California state Assembly on Thursday voted in favor of a bill that would permit the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants who are eligible for work permits under a new policy handed down from the Obama administration. The bill is on its way to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk to be signed into law.

Fox News reports, “Democratic Assemblyman Gil Cedillo [pictured above, next to photo of California’s state capitol] of Los Angeles said he wrote AB 2189 to make roads safer, and allow young immigrants to drive to school and work.”

The bill passed in California’s Assembly by a vote of 55-15 after it passed in California’s Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 25-7.

The only other states to issue driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants are New Mexico, Utah, and Washington.

California’s bill is in response to a June announcement from the Obama administration of a federal program to ease deportation rules and allow some immigrants to gain temporary legal status in the United States.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the new federal program announced by the Obama administration, applies to immigrants who arrived in the United States before their 16th birthday, are younger than 30 years of age, have been living in the United States for at least five years, and either are in school, have graduated, or have served in the military. As of August 15, those who are eligible may file a document entitled “Request for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.” They will then be granted a work permit for two years.

DACA is expected to cost more than $585 million and require the hiring of hundreds of new federal employees to process the more than one million expected requests.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the cost of the program would be offset by a $465 paperwork fee, but as noted by TeaParty.org, “Fee waivers could dramatically affect the government’s share of the cost. The plans said that, depending on how many applicants don’t pay, the government could lose between $19 million and $121 million.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) declared,

By lowering the fee or waiving it altogether for illegal immigrants, those who play by the rules will face delays and large backlogs as attention is diverted to illegal immigrants. American taxpayers should not be forced to bail out illegal immigrants and President Obama’s fiscally irresponsible policies.

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