July 6, 1999 - 9:30 PM PDT
Sacramento, CA. -- VCT -- Legislation that would have removed barriers whch have prevented illegal aliens from obtaining California drivers licenses and I.D. cards failed to obtain approval of the California Senate transportation committee today. The twelve member committee deadlocked at 6-6 on the bill, AB 1463, which was offered by assistant majority leader Gil Cedillo (D-46). A majority vote was needed to move the bill to the full Senate. It had already been approved by the House.
California Legislature rules allows bills which fail to pass out of committee to be heard on the floor but it is not known if Cedillio will seek this remedy, or wait until the next year to reintroduce it.
Two Democrats, committee chairwoman Betty Karnette (D-Long Beach) and Jim Costa (D-Fresno), joined four Republicans in voting to reject the bill.
Chairwoman Karnette-D No
Vice Chair Dunn-D Yes
According to Rick Oltman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, chairwoman Karnette acknowledged that many of her constituents do not believe that illegal immigrants should have drivers licenses and that this probably applies to majority of Californians.
Prior to the final vote rejecting the entire measure, the committee adopted an amendment by senator Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) to require drivers license applicants to provide a Social Security number. If the applicant could not produce the number, the DMV would accept a federal taxpayer identification number so long as the applicant certifed, under penalty of perjury, that no social security number exists. Since the overall measure failed, the amendment was moot.
TESTIMONY OF RICK OLTMAN, F.A.I.R.
Testimony to the California Senate Transportation Committee AB 1463- Cedillo Opposed July 6, 1999
Thank you Madam Chairman and members of the committee. My name is Rick Oltman and I am the Western Regional Field Director for FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
FAIR opposes AB 1463 for the simple reason that it will make it easier for illegal aliens to get California Drivers Licenses and California I.D. cards.
By repealing the sections of the Motor Vehicle Code that requires the applicant's social security number, and proof of legal residence before issuing a Drivers License or I.D. Card, this bill would make it easy, once again, for illegal aliens to get valid documentation, that will make it easier for them to evade identification, apprehension and deportation by federal immigration officers. And, it will make it easier for illegal aliens to get employment--where that employment requires a drivers license.
This bill is going in the opposite direction that state government should take, because it makes enforcement of our immigration laws more difficult. State government, in fact, all levels of government; federal, state, county and city governments, should be working together to identify, arrest and deport illegal aliens who sneak into our country and take American jobs, among other things.
In 1993, I came here to the capitol and testified in favor or Senator Alquist's Bill SB 976. It was approved by the Senate and the Assembly and signed into law by Governor Wilson. The intent of that common sense bill was good; simply to prevent illegal immigrants from getting California Drivers Licenses. California has benefited from that law. Other states require similar identification before issuing a Drivers License. Arizona, Texas and Florida-most recently, are examples of states that require a social security number or valid proof of legal residence before issuing a document that can be used to evade capture by immigration officers.
The problem of illegal aliens using forged documents is a massive one in California. The Alquist Bill attempted to prevent illegal aliens from getting and using real, valid documents which makes their apprehension, removal and deportation much, much more difficult by immigration officers. That is a good law.
It is our position that all levels of government should work together to guarantee the sovereignty of our country and our state, and at every opportunity, do what it can bureaucratically to prevent illegal aliens from getting a toehold in our country.
Many Californians believe that the state should not be giving drivers licenses and I.D. cards to illegal aliens.
And, many believe that the intent of this bill is to make it easier for illegal aliens to get valid identification, making arrest and deportation more difficult. Whether that is the real purpose for this legislation or not, that is the result of it. Another result may be that other states, who upon learning of our relaxed requirements, may question of the validity of the California Drivers License and I.D. Card, making life more difficult for California Citizens who travel to other states.
It is also possible that the Cedillo bill could also cause the US Attorney General, upon investigation of a citizen complaint that the DMV was issuing CDLs to illegals, to prohibit the use of CDLs as documents to be used to establish employment authorization or identity under INA 274A(b)(E). In closing, I would say that Senator Alquist's Bill was well intentioned and resulted in good law; preventing illegal aliens from getting a valid California Drivers License.
Please do not pass this bill that helps the illegal aliens who have no respect for our laws, or our sovereignty.
Bob McAdam from Belmont also testified against AB 1463. I am sorry I don't have his remarks for you to post. But I want to say that Bob and his wife Beverly have worked very hard against illegal immigration for all the time I have known them, almost eight years. Bob was one who testified dependably, and regularly, in 1993 when we fought to get the Alquist Bill passed--the law that they are now trying to repeal.
I can't say enough about the McAdam's dedication and hard work. They really demonstrate that while the word "activist" is a noun, the root word is a verb.
So to Bob and Bev I say, thanks again for being active.
Thanks to Rick Oltman for this update.