SACRAMENTO — Illegal immigrants who qualify for a federal work permit under a new Obama administration policy could obtain a California driver's license under state legislation introduced Friday.
The federal program provides a two-year reprieve from deportation to people younger than 31 who were brought to the United States illegally before the age of 16. The Department of Motor Vehicles has said it appears they would be eligible for driver's licenses, although it put off a final decision until officials verify that the federal documentation meets California's licensing requirements.
Assemblyman Gilbert Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) said he introduced his legislation to address that issue. Under AB 2189, any federal document received by a person granted deferred action under Obama's program would be acceptable as proof of legal presence for the purpose of applying for a California driver's license, Cedillo said.
"We want to clarify that these young people who will be here on deferred status will be able to qualify for a driver's license," Cedillo said in an interview.