Tags: California | illegas | DMV | drivers license

Flood of Illegals Rush California DMVs for Driver's Licenses

Image: Flood of Illegals Rush California DMVs for Driver's Licenses
People wait in line at the California Department of Motor Vehicles in Granada Hills, Los Angeles. (Gus Ruelas/Reuters/Landov)

Thursday, 08 Jan 2015 01:27 PM

Tens of thousands of illegal immigrants in California have rushed to apply for a driver’s license – even as conservative critics claim that it legitimizes people who have arrived in the United States illegally.

The Department of Motor Vehicles was prepared for the surge as it complies with the new law allowing people who can show they live in the Golden State to qualify for a driver’s license irrespective of their immigration status, according to The Wall Street Journal.

After the first three days, 46,200 people had applied for the license, with most of them having to wait on long lines. Hundreds, however, camped out all night to be at the front of the lines when DMV offices open in the morning, while some had scheduled appointments.

Los Angeles DMV manager Kathy Myles-Daniels said her branch was “the busiest I’ve ever seen it.”

Latin American, Asian and African immigrants were among the crowds at the Culver City branch to take the DMV exam, which is available in several languages on touch-screen monitors.

Overall, the state is expecting 1.4 million illegal immigrants to apply for licenses over the next three years, the Journal reported. The DMV has hired 900 extra staff and built four huge new branches, while it’s also sending out employees to immigrant communities to explain the process.

California has joined nine other states, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, in issuing licenses to illegals. And although supporters say the move helps road safety, critics say it legitimizes illegal immigrants, the Journal reported.

“Granting driver’s licenses to illegal aliens is a further attempt...to normalize the status of illegal aliens,” said Ira Mehlman, media director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a national lobbying group that is fighting the legalization of undocumented immigrants.

But Dan Dunmoyer, head of government and industry affairs at Farmers Insurance, praised the move by California officials.

 “The worst day is when you get in an accident and look up to see the other person drove off because they are undocumented and unlicensed,” said Dunmoyer. “If people are driving to their jobs, because they have to, it’s good for them and other motorists that they be tested, licensed and insured.”

Texas and Arizona, who both have a large population of illegal immigrants, are not issuing licenses to illegals. But Illinois, Maryland and Washington, which also have a large immigrant populace, are letting illegals apply for a license if they can show proof of where they live.

California has the largest illegal population in the nation, with an estimated 2.45 million people, according to the Journal, which also noted that 9-15 percent of cars in the Golden State lack insurance.

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Tens of thousands of illegal immigrants in California have rushed to apply for a driver’s license – even as conservative critics claim that it legitimizes people who have arrived in the United States illegally.
California, illegas, DMV, drivers license
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2015-27-08
Thursday, 08 Jan 2015 01:27 PM
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