Photo: L.A. Sheriff Lee Baca Supports Drivers LIcenses for Undocumented
In an interview this week, Los Angeles County Sheriff, Lee Baca, supported the idea of allowing illegal immigrants the opportunity to obtain drivers’ licenses. His support of this plan does not come as a surprise after supporting a similar plan in 2002 which did not pass.
Baca states that his support of this plan, recently introduced by Los Angeles Police Chief, Charlie Beck, would apply to people who have lived in the United States for numerous years and have no criminal record. According to Baca, many people are driving on the roads today without having passed a state exam as well as without the necessary automobile insurance. This proposal would help eliminate these potential safety hazards.
Under Beck’s proposed plan, illegal immigrants requesting a license would have to go through a comprehensive application process. Licenses distributed to immigrants would not be identical to standard drivers’ licenses. The new license would be a provisional or nonresident type of license which would be up for renewal annually.
Beck believes that support of this plan would decrease the amount of hit and run accidents that occur annually in the state. He also states that this proposal would increase the ability to identify people on the roads and most importantly increase public safety. “Why wouldn’t you want to put people through a rigorous testing process? Why wouldn’t you want to better identify people who are going to be here?” he said.