Posted: 10/9/2005 4:36:31 AM EDT
Schwarzenegger vetoes license bill for illegals
By Michael Gardner
COPLEY NEWS SERVICE
October 8, 2005
SACRAMENTO – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has once again vetoed legislation that would have allowed California to issue special "driving only" licenses to illegal immigrants, unswayed by a new federal law that left him an opening to reverse course.
"The bill is premature and could undermine national security efforts to identify individuals who pose enormous risk to the safety of Californians," Schwarzenegger said in his veto message issued yesterday.
Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, who has turned passage of a license measure into a crusade, insisted he would not surrender.
"I am neither discouraged nor deterred," he said, promising to return with a new version next year.
Cedillo said he would emphasize the fairness of providing licenses to those who may not have access to citizenship or residency records. Among them: applicants for visa extensions who are in legal limbo and displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina who may have escaped with little more than the clothes on their backs.
The vetoed legislation, SB 60, would have put California on track to comply with a new federal law that requires all applicants to provide proof of identity and residency status before obtaining a regular driver license.
Licenses issued by states that do not comply with those directives will not be accepted as identification to board airplanes or enter federal buildings starting in May 2008.
But the Real ID Act signed by President Bush this spring also opened a new opportunity for Cedillo by including a provision that allows states to issue "driving only" licenses to those who cannot prove their legal status.
The driving-only documents must be clearly distinguishable from a regular license, under the federal law, and cannot be used for identification purposes, such as to board an airplane.
Schwarzenegger's veto – his second of legislation seeking to extend license privileges to those here illegally – came as no surprise. The Republican has insisted for months that California will not jump ahead of new federal identification standards and risk millions of dollars that will have to be spent to develop a system. The federal regulations are not expected to be finalized until next year.
"I'm all for having everyone have driver's licenses in California. What I've said is I will not compromise our security," Schwarzenegger said in a recent interview.
He will probably sign a measure, he continued, "if they say this is protecting our state and our country. We are just waiting for that information now."
But in his veto message, Schwarzenegger appeared to hedge further, promising to only "engage in discussions relating to implementation of the act, including whether or not a driving-only certificate is appropriate in California."
In the earlier interview, Schwarzenegger also suggested that he may judge a future license measure as part of a broader federal guest-worker program. If Congress approves such a program, temporary workers here legally probably would be eligible for licenses under current law.
"At the same time we are arguing about (licenses for illegals) we should go and look for a way of creating temporary working permits," Schwarzenegger said. "The federal government should step it up. There's no reason to wait."
In holding out, Schwarzenegger has once again frustrated supporters of the measure who are convinced they have answered every one of his misgivings only to be turned away.
"We have addressed every single concern the governor has brought up. Now is the time for him to honor his word," Cedillo said prior to the veto.
Cedillo said he may open another front, this one in court. He is convinced that California's policy violates the rights of an estimated 1 million people who are in the process of being legalized but can't get licenses. Those include people in line for a visa extension, seeking asylum or applying for various other residency documents.
The senator said he is reviewing the original 1993 law that imposed a requirement of citizenship or proof of legal residency to obtain a license to determine whether there is an opening for those in legal limbo.
The reviews so far, he said, "lead us to believe those people are eligible and should have been eligible all along."
Cedillo also may have a new argument next year, given the influx of those displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
"They are not going to be able to prove who they are," Cedillo said.
Cedillo, who made a death-bed promise to his late wife to change the law, has maintained that his bill would make roads safer by ensuring motorists are licensed and insured. Insurers will not issue policies to unlicensed drivers. Supporters also argue that those here illegally must drive to jobs or to take their children to school.
"We will do everything and anything we can to keep this bill alive," he vowed.
Cedillo is an ignorant racist who cares more about La Raza than America.
He was frequently on local hispanic TV and talk radio shows. A local drive time AM talk show, John & Ken, had people listen in and translate what Cedillo said, and told that Cedillo told the hispanic listeners he had special deal with Arnold and will get the bill passed. I doubt Cedillo thought of little at his wife's death bed except when the life insurance check will come.
I don't care about the RINO comments on this board. I'm liking Arnie more and more. I can't remember any other politicians throwing their power around like this before. Good for him.(An 'acceptable' governor for California by this board's standards wouldn't stand a chance in CA right now)
If he just would have veto'd some of the dumb gun bans, I'd consider himperfect Presidential material.
Well, aside from his non native born status of course.
Drivers licenses for illegals?
Don't they have driver's licenses in Mexico?
Why would we want to license some to drive who couldn't even get a DL in Mexico?
Mexican DLs are valid here, just as is any other foreign DL.
Actually when you move to California you only have ten days to apply for a Cali DL. 10 days after you accept employment here, or residency here, your drivers license from any other satate is considered invalid for driving in Cali.
If you move here from out of state and get pulled over the cops will ask you a series of questions like; where do you live, where do you work, and how long have you been here? they will also look at where the car you are driving is registered. If your driving a car register in cali, with a cali address, and working in cali, but still have a nevada, arizona, or texas DL they will cite you for CVC 12500(a) Unlicensed driver (an infraction) and tow your vehciel for storage under CVC 22651(p).
The reason for this is our drivers license standards are tougher than most states. We do not allow inexperianced minor drivers to drive late at night or transport minor passengers. We do not allow those under 21 to drive with any measurable ammount of alcohol in their blood. We make you provide evidence of your true identity before issuing a drivers licnse or ID card (unlike 14 other states that will give you a DL in any name you chose.)
He seems to be trying to throw his weight around wherever he can. For example, here in the Bay Area, he called a halt to the construction of the new Bay Bridge on the grounds that he believed that the taxpayers were paying far more money than they needed to for the bridge. The argument was that the local borough's desires for an aesthetic bridge was outweighed by the fact that they simply couldn't afford it. A month or two later, he brokered a compromise. The people get a better-looking bridge (which is important), and they also figure out a better way of funding it. (Tolls on said bridge)