Advocates for the Undocumented Seek Removal of Obstacles to Getting CA Drivers Licenses

scanners_exploding-head_AVCO-Embassy-Pictures.jpg
AVCO Embassy Pictures
KABLOOEY!

A report on California recently joining 10 other states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia in allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for drivers licenses puts a spotlight on the Mexican Consulate in Santa Ana, where five-hour driver's ed classes are being offered for free to ... ick ... excuse me. I need to clean up the goo from the heads of Register readers/Weekly commenters whose heads just exploded.

Learn more about the program at California Report (and, no, it wasn't written by David Cronenberg).

Based on the visit, many students already drive. When driver's ed teacher Juan Carlos Lopez started off a recent Saturday class by asking how many already drive, a roomful of hands went up, California Report, uh, reports.

"Even though I don't have a driver's license, I still have to go to school. I have to go to work," explained Mabel Barrera, 27. She has lived in the U.S. since she was 15, and has been driving since she was 17. Still, this was her first-ever driving class.

It is estimated there are 2 million unlicensed drivers in California, thus the move to teach many of them the rules of the road and get them licensed, to make us all safer. The law, which began as a state Assembly bill, goes into effect on Jan. 1.

Despite the new law, community members and the Drive CA Coalition released recommendations at a news conference Wednesday urging the DMV to make the transition for the undocumented smoother. Participating organizations included ACLU of Northern California, the California Immigrant Policy Center, California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, Presente.org, Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN), TODEC Legal Center and Mujeres Unidas y Activas.

The DMV, which is holding hearings in Los Angeles and Oakland before implementing the law, is being asked to make document requirements more accessible for eligible immigrants and to add privacy and anti-discrimination protections to ensure the program's success.

"We firmly believe that all Californians stand to benefit from a successful driver's license program that meets community needs," explained ACLU staff attorney Julia Harumi Mass. "And today we are asking the DMV to retool its proposed regulations to do just that."

One requirement being challenged is possession of both a foreign passport and a consular ID, which is said to be prohibitively expensive and impossible for some. Pointing to the expected $128-per-person cost for Mexican nationals, Luis Nolasco with the Justice for Immigrants Coalition of Inland Southern California said, "In a place where $100 could be put towards groceries or childcare, having a passport is basically a luxury."

There are also concerns over the cost of obtaining various documents under DMV's current proposal, possible discrimination and the safety and security of personal information.

"There shouldn't be a shadow of a doubt that California's program will meet community needs when it comes to document requirements and privacy and anti-discrimination protections," said Refugio Mata, campaign manager with Presente.org. "Let's set the gold standard for the nation on driver's licenses--it's time to drive California forward on road safety."

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!



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46 comments
GoFukURSelf
GoFukURSelf

Fucking makes me sick to my stomach. Fuck a fence or wall. How about a gun line!! Its all political Bullshit really fuck'em too! Mean while we have good americans losing their lives over oil while Mexicans traffic humans, drugs and who knows what else. fuck the Iraq,Afganistan war. Send the troops to Mexico and squash them fucking parasites before they over run our country! What a fucking slap in the face really!

Navalle
Navalle

And here my husband and I shelled out thousands of dollars and endured six years of immigration hell to bring him here legally from England. My maternal grandparents worked hard and emigrated legally from Mexico in the 1930s. Turns out, they were all better off just coming in on a tourist visa and overstaying for free.

Joseph A Hernandez
Joseph A Hernandez

It's bs that we offer a license exam in OTHER LANGUANGES! Road signs are in English! If you can't test in English how can you read signs?!?

bajarat
bajarat

Get these effin' arrogant invading savages out of here before Americans do the job for you, Barry.

Michelle Lau Reynoso
Michelle Lau Reynoso

I totally believe it.. my ex SIL drove without a license. She didn't care she wasn't legit, and my ex BIL gave her the keys to drive the kids around, too. The people who don't have a license aren't necessarily illegal, just lazy.

armandocdll81
armandocdll81

I like the picture used for the article - that's what happens to poquito rock throwers when they find themselves at the end of a border patrolman's 45.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

Or we could just deport them all and build a wall to make us all safer and get back our lower class jobs for teenagers and poorer american citizens.

Victor Salas
Victor Salas

Yet it wouldn't happen if they still had their licenses. What part of this whole cycle don't people get!? Illegal immigrants will drive with or without a licence. But at least with a licence, they can register their own cars and be insured. smh

John Hald
John Hald

We don't need illegals with no God damn insurance or money on the road just to hit or kill someone then run back to mexico. Seen it toooo many times and it's bullshit

John Hald
John Hald

Seriously tho get those MOTHERFUCKERS off the road

John Lee Thomas
John Lee Thomas

About half of the drivers are probably driving in Little Saigon.

gnarchild
gnarchild

How is this even up for debate? They are breaking the law by being here illegally and now they want the same rights and privileges that we have? Even with a drivers license they are not going to pay insurance or registration. Their cars should be impounded. 

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

Ah, Scanners.  AVCO/Embassy produced and distributed some great flicks back in the golden era of the '70s and early '80s.  Lionsgate and Focus Features, step it up!


FFO1939
FFO1939

California will soon become 33rd State of Mexico or new province of China!!!

downtownbrown
downtownbrown

anyone who immigrates legally is a complete sucker.  Just break the law like the mojados and you'll have half the govt blowing you and the other half congratulating you on your heroic journey.

scoryell1
scoryell1

Driving is a privilege not a right, and sometimes you have to pay for that privilege. So if undocumented drivers can't afford $100 passport; how are they going to pay for car registration, insurance, smog, tickets, and upkeep on their automobiles? How are they going to remove these obstacles?

meheecan-cris-doner
meheecan-cris-doner

who the hell needs a license? I've been driving without a license for three days and i don't notice a difference, ha! arguments that revolve around safety are a croc of shit.

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

The ones that need driving school are all the Asians of Irvine. 

mexicaniqis50
mexicaniqis50

@FFO1939


lol china dont want california... its full of mexicans!!!you think you beaners have a hard time with whitey?  just wait until the chinese take over... you will be the first to go.. they despise stupidity and unfortunately, stupidity is in the avg mexican dna.. viva la raza bitches

meheecan-cris-doner
meheecan-cris-doner

white people don't have to show a passport and their asses are immigrants.

mexicaniqis50
mexicaniqis50

@20ftjesus


whats the matter, lost your job in the chinese restaurant???

gregbpc
gregbpc topcommenter

@20ftjesus Especially the ones with their welder's shields on, or a newspaper covering their driver side window.  Also, why do Asians tend to leave about a 1 to 2 car space between them and the intersection or the car in front of them while stopped at a light?

Smedley_Butler
Smedley_Butler

@gregbpc @20ftjesus

When I had driver's ed in the 70's they taught us that it was safer to leave space between your car and the car in front of you.  The reasoning was that if you got rear-ended while stopped at the light, only the back side of your car would be damaged, rather than having your car pushed into the car in front of you and smashing the front end of your car too (collision repairs to the front end typically being more expensive than repairs to the back end of the car.)

Defensive driving teachers also say it's a good idea to leave room between your car and the next car ... just in case you need to make a quick escape for some odd reason (e.g., attempted car jacking.)  Most armored car drivers do the same thing; they leave some room to get away in case of an emergency.

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

@gregbpc @20ftjesus 

"...why do Asians tend to leave about a 1 to 2 car space between them and the intersection or the car in front of them while stopped at a light?"

LMFAO.  (And I think it's the vehicular equivalent of bowing.)  

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@gregbpc @20ftjesus 

My mom leaves way too much space between her car and the vehicle in front of her...and she's an old WASP.

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@meheecan-cris-doner 

Every time I see an old person well past their driving days doing something incredibly stupid behind the wheel I shout: "They'll pry that driver's license out of your cold dead hands, right?!!!"

meheecan-cris-doner
meheecan-cris-doner

hmmm... otro pendejo that says ”how high?” when the government says “jump.”

gregbpc
gregbpc topcommenter

@Smedley_Butler @gregbpc @20ftjesus Duh.  I learned in driver's ed you should be able to see the bottom of the back tires of the car in front of you.  You should leave enough space to get around the car if it stalls, but for some reason they like to leave a whole car length or more, even if they are the first car at the light.  It is especially annoying when I am trying to get into the left turn lane, but can't.  So many of them, seem to have little situational awareness and just stare straight ahead when they drive. 

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

@gregbpc @Smedley_Butler @20ftjesus 

"It is especially annoying when I am trying to get into the left turn lane, but can't."  

This happens ALL THE TIME to me.  Always...always...Asian females behind the wheel. 

gregbpc
gregbpc topcommenter

@meheecan-cris-doner yawn....don't give up your day job to go on the comedy tour..nevermind, you probably don't have a day job. jajaja

meheecan-cris-doner
meheecan-cris-doner

orale Tyler! do us all a favor and drop dead. most white people are good at molesting kids and committing mass murders.

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