How Illegal Immigrants Can Get a License in CA

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Illegal immigrants who live in California will finally be eligible to apply for a driver’s license. This is under the law that was signed by the Democratic Governor with an aim of expanding privileges for illegal immigrants. This legislation is a major victory for immigrants’ rights activists, together with Latino who have been fighting for this law for decades. The state expects 1.4 million persons to apply for licenses in the next 3 years. This decree marked a significant departure in California and a substantial republican support was passed. The law will take effect in the year 2015 and will join other states that allow illegal immigrants to drive legally. The families of these immigrants have been looking forward for this day since it will allow them to go to work, go to school, take their kids from school and attend a doctor’s appointment without any fear that they will be deported or their car confiscated.

A recent research carried out by Southern California University proved that this move is part of a wider effort in expanding the rights of immigrants in California where approximately 2.6 million people, most of them being Latino, lacks legal status. About 38 percent of the population in California is of Hispanic descent since the figures represents an enormous number of voters who have interest in immigrant issues. California move still stands in stark contrast to policy such as the neighboring Arizona over the immigration reform. Recently, Arizona widened the ban on licenses for all illegal immigrants including those who were earlier granted temporary relief from deportation. Two decades ago, the majority of voters banned illegal immigrants from public services such as education. College students who were brought to the United States in their early childhood are now allowed to pay in-state tuition at public Universities located in California—this will help to defray the costs of higher education in the country. The bills that are waiting the signature from the governor will allow non-citizens to serve on juries. Undocumented immigrants will get a chance to practice the law and this will make employers less likely to retaliate against workers; thus, threatening to report them to the authorities.

Republican Support

This bill will also support half of the legislature republicans from California who broke ranks with their leaders in order to support the protection of the illegal immigrants. Diane Harkey who is a conservative Republican assembly woman from Orange County said that this can lead to higher possibilities of racial profiling since the licenses will be different from those which were issued to legal residents. In order to conform to the federal law, the licenses should clearly show that the bearers have not yet presented a social security card or a birth certificate.

About 1.4 million residents are eligible to take a driver’s test in January 2015. The law will protect the immigrants from trouble and will ensure that the drivers are qualified; however, this will only work if the drivers will pass the test. The DMV is currently stocking community centers with a driver’s manual from California in many languages including Spanish and English. Mexican consulates are currently testing prep sessions for the summer in order to plan for the test. Driving schools are now looking forward for more registrations, but part of the challenge to drivers is that California’s exam is a bit tough compared to other exams from other states. According to statistics, half of the people who take the written test for the first time fail. The majority of people fail the practical test even before they get out of the parking lot. The test is normally a challenge but there is one way through proper preparation. Often, the test has 36 questions and the passing grade is 32.

You are eligible for a California driver’s license if you have the following requirements:

  • US citizenship
  • Alien lawfully admitted for a temporary or permanent residence.
  • A refugee who has been granted asylum
  • Have unexpired nonimmigrant visa
  • Have a pending
  • Have a valid visa
  • Have a non-immigrant visa
  • Have an approved differed status

How to apply for a California Driver’s license

In order to get a California driver’s license, you should first visit a driver’s services facility where they will take your photo and show your identification. Turn in the commercial driver’s license, instructions permits and state ID cards. Pass the written and vision tests and pay the total amount of fee required. The law requires the state to provide all applicants with drivers’ licenses regardless of their ability to prove their federal authorization in the U.S. Applicants are required to provide satisfactory proof of their California residency. One of the major benefits of this package is that it will forbid the local law to detain immigrants who are in California illegally if the crimes they committed are nonviolent and minor.

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