The adoption of state identification for immigrants in the state is part of a package of measures pertaining to undocumented people that California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom approved last week.
A restricted identification card must be issued to qualified participants by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) no later than July 1, 2027, according to AB 1766, which Newsom signed into law.
According to a statement released by Newsom, “California is extending opportunities for everybody, regardless of their immigration status.”
“We are a state of sanctuary; a state with a majority of minorities, with 27% of us being immigrants. Because of this, I’m pleased to announce that I have signed the laws introduced today to strengthen the state’s support of the immigrant population.”
According to the new law’s text, “This bill would clearly state that immigration control, as described, does not necessitate an urgent need for safety and health for those reasons, and would prevent any government department, agency of law enforcement for-profit org, or any other people from acquiring, accessing, utilizing, or otherwise revealing noncriminal records kept by the department, for border protection.”
The modification would forbid the DMV from considering migrant status when issuing state identity.
The measure was passed in response to a scandal in California in 2018 in which the DMV fraudulently registered 1,500 people to vote, including non-citizens. Former California State Secretary Alex Padilla (D), who is currently a U.S. Senator, stated he was unaware of any registered voters who had cast ballots in the state’s primary election in June 2018.
According to the Associated Press, some 1,500 persons claimed to be ineligible or failed to confirm it with the DMV during the registration period. In addition to other possible infractions, this group contained at least one residential non-citizen. People who might not have been eligible owing to a prior criminal conviction were apparently included, as well as those who were under the age of 18.
Various measures on behalf of immigrants residing in the state are included in other bills signed as part of the package of laws protecting unauthorized people.
“Immigrant students will get easier access to community colleges’ ESL programs and in-state tuition at public universities and colleges. The news announcement said that immigrant students will have more options for financing their college educations.”
Qualified illegal residents of the state would be granted in-state tuition at California public colleges under the contentious move made as part of SB 1141, providing “exempt status from payments of nonresident tuition.”
Additionally, the new set of measures makes low-income people eligible for legal assistance in civil disputes impacting fundamental human needs, irrespective of their immigration status.
Another law in the package, SB 972, modifies the retail food code of the state to make it simpler for street sellers to obtain local health permits, “promoting better financial inclusion and opportunities.” Senator Lena Gonzalez, a state democrat, introduced the legislation (D-Long Beach).