California is expected to offer drivers' and law licenses to undocumented immigrants following a vote by state lawmakers late Thursday night.
The Los Angeles Times reported that AB60 will introduce special drivers' licenses bearing the marking "DP," for "driver's privilege." The state Department of Motor Vehicles will set the guidelines on what documentation applicants must provide while applying for the license. The state Assembly passed the measure by a 55-19 vote, hours after it was approved in the state Senate in a 28-8 vote.
Gov. Jerry Brown (D) indicated in a statement Thursday night that he would sign the bill into law, arguing that it would both help keep safe drivers on the road and send a message to federal lawmakers about the need for immigration reform.
Immigration advocacy groups praised the passage of the bill, which is similar to a mark placed on licenses for immigrants in North Carolina, while conceding that they had reservations over the "DP" designation.
"Our undocumented community members tell us everyday that they want a license even with a mark," Presente.org executive director Arturo Carmona told The Raw Story in an email on Friday. "The benefits of having license with a mark and the legal protections that were instituted in this bill far outweigh the daily fear immigrants have to face in driving their kids to school or on their way to work in the present."
Joseph Villela, policy director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), told KABC-TV that he considered the new law a step in the right direction.
"We do not like some of the provisions," Villela said in an interview aired Thursday night. "But we're not allowing perfection to be the enemy of progress, and that's how we see this bill."
Watch KABC's report, aired Thursday, below.
[Image: "Young Adult Brunette Twin Women Driving Convertible Red Car And Looking Over Shoulders" via Shutterstock]
[h/t La Opinión]