California has become one of 10 states to allow immigrants in the country illegally to apply for special driver’s licenses. As of January 2, 2015, immigrants residing in California are able to get these licenses. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, tens of thousands of applications are ready to be processed.
Supporters of the law say it will alter immigrants' attitudes toward law enforcement and increase levels of civic engagement.
The necessary documents to apply for a special license in California are the following:
- Documents to verify their identities and prove they reside in California.
- Submit a thumbprint, pass vision and written exams, and schedule a behind-the-wheel driving test.
The special licenses will feature text explaining that they are "not acceptable for official federal purposes," such as boarding an airplane.
In the past, many people in the country without permission had been able to obtain California driver's licenses because applicants did not have to prove they had legal immigration status. That changed in 1993 with the passage of a law that required any first-time applicant to provide a Social Security number.
The auto insurance industry sees a great opportunity from this new law. Some of them are already creating advertising campaigns that are directly targeted to the people who are eligible to get their licenses.
Photo by: Jeff Turner.
With over 11.5 million undocumented immigrants in the country, President Obama looks to introduce a series of orders and reforms that would grant them status. Obama reassured supporters that the orders will take place sometime between the November elections and year end while attending a gala hosted by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
President Obama made the decision to delay the immigration executive orders until the 4th of November when the congressional elections will be held. This decision comes as a little surprise considering the volatility of this political and socio-economic issue.
Republicans are not as happy about the President’s plans. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, states:
"The president's promise isn't about making the best policy or enforcing the law — it's an admission that his pledge to not uphold the law in the future would be bad for his party now. The president is required to take care that the laws are faithfully executed, not — as he has admitted — make them up as he sees fit."
On the other hand, immigration advocates have criticized Obama’s plan as well, and stated that he is not taking responsibility for resolving this issue. This comes as little surprise as the number of deportations has hit record levels since his tenure as President.
The Democratic Senate passed and approved a bill last year that provides a citizenship route for those living in the US illegally. However, the Republican House has not shared the same sentiments, and believes accepting these immigrants will only encourage more illegal movement across borders.
In a poll conducted around California, three in four voters show support for the 12 million undocumented immigrants across the nation.
Unauthorized immigration has always been an issue of sensitivity and concern across the world, particularly in the United States. However, a recent poll administered across various demographics and racial groups suggests resounding support for broad immigration reform.
While the voters have expressed their concern over the implications of illegal immigration, they have nevertheless felt sympathetic towards those with families and children.
The poll conducted by Los Angeles Times reporter Seema Mehta and poll director Dan Schnur reveals interesting statistics on what is becoming a more socially visible subject in recent years. As the survey suggests, nearly half the voters are in favor of children being deported immediately. However, others are adamant that children be allowed to stay while their legal proceedings are underway.
Dave Kanevsky of the American Viewpoint, a firm that helped LA Times conduct bipartisan polls, voiced his concern over the growing frustration in the nation regarding this issue:
“Voters are compassionate to those here illegally … but they're not open-border advocates."
Despite the overwhelming consensus of support towards immigrants, 72% of the surveyed believe it is a crisis. In fact, the people of California have labeled the political, financial, and social impact of illegal immigration as a major crisis that needs to be addressed on a national and global scale.
This also raises the question whether the legislative framework is flexible enough to offer aid, let alone legalization, for an increasing 12 million population without proper documentation or background checks. While many share the similar sentiment that legalizing immigrants may trigger a flood of imports over the border, many more want are open to working on some sort of legislative structure that can alleviate, if not eliminate, the adverse impacts that this subject brings.
We Already Enforce Immigration Laws Aggressively 25-Feb-2014
The US government is, in fact, already pouring massive resources into immigration enforcement. Remarkably, we now spend more money on immigration enforcement then on all of our other criminal federal law enforcement agencies combined.
Our nation spends almost $18 billion per year to enforce immigration laws at the border and within the United States. We also currently have the lowest rate of unauthorized immigration across our southern border in the past 40 years.
Based upon his comments in recent interviews, President Obama would be open to important compromises on immigration reform in order to pass an overhaul of the laws in 2014. Most significantly, Obama indicated he would not insist on a special pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the country. Instead, a viable solution would be to enable legalization, which would include the ability to work and travel without fear of deportation and broken families.
Immigration Reform Can Still Happen 23-Oct-2013
Several news outlets are reporting that immigration reform can still happen in the near future despite the time wasted with the government shutdown nonsense. Reasonable people from both major political parties are working behind the scenes to put forward a fair compromise.
How to Break Free of the Immigration Roadblock 25-Sep-2013
An attorney and college professor provide a compelling case for why and how to achieve immigration reform for the millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
The Los Angeles times describes how many tech savvy and well-informed young immigrants are forming limited liability companies to provide a way to work legally within the United States.
For those who are undocumented or who may have overstayed their visas, creating an LLC is becoming increasingly popular option.