California Legislation Granting Driver's Licenses to Illegal Aliens Threatens Homeland Security, Says FAIR
(Washington, D.C. September 13, 2013) - Thursday night’s approval of AB 60 by both houses of the California Legislature, granting driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, poses a serious threat to the security of all Americans, charged the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Under the legislation, which Gov. Jerry Brown has indicated he will sign, beginning on January 1, 2015, illegal aliens will be able to obtain a valid California driver’s license by presenting a variety of unverifiable, or easily forged documents purporting to establish their identities.
“The California Legislature rarely misses an opportunity to demonstrate its contempt for U.S. immigration laws. But approval of AB 60 is much more than a symbolic gesture. The Legislature’s action and Gov. Brown’s signature on the bill endanger the security of every American at a time when international events have heightened the risk of terrorists carrying out an attack on the United States,” warned Dan Stein, president of FAIR.
The report of the blue ribbon commission investigating the attacks of 9/11 clearly stated that the ability of the terrorists to obtain valid, government-issued identity documents facilitated their ability to plan and execute the deadly attacks. In response, Congress enacted the REAL ID Act in 2005, with the intent of discouraging state governments from issuing driver’s licenses and other identity documents to illegal aliens under threat of invalidating those documents for federal identification purposes. AB 60 is designed to circumvent requirements of REAL ID Act, ignoring the serious homeland security threats the federal law sought to address.
Although the licenses may not be used for federal identification purposes, AB 60 includes explicit protections for holders of these documents. In particular, the bill makes it “a violation of law to discriminate against an individual because he or she holds or presents a license issued under these provisions.” The bill also bars police from using these driver’s licenses as a basis for arresting or detaining an individual for violations of federal immigration laws.
“In Sacramento, bestowing benefits and privileges on illegal aliens trumps all other concerns. That is more than unfortunate; it is potentially catastrophic,” Stein said. “Both of Gov. Brown’s most recent predecessors, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis, rejected efforts by the Legislature to grant driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, citing security and other concerns. With homeland security experts warning that events in the Middle East could trigger renewed efforts by terrorist organizations to mount an attack against the United States, it is incumbent upon Gov. Brown to transcend California politics and veto AB 60.”