Last week, California joined a growing list of states that allow immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally to obtain driver's licenses. The approval of the measure that made this possible was supported not only by Latino activists but by police chiefs and insurance authorities. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill in front of a cheering crowd of immigrants and their supporters, predicting other parts of the country will follow the example set by the nation's most populous state. The licenses, which are expected to become available no later than January 2015, will carry a special designation on the front and a notice stating that the document is not official federal identification and cannot be used to prove eligibility for employment or public benefits.
The measure, written by Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo, will grant licenses to anyone who passes the written and road tests, regardless of immigration status.