Why is that? Either there are many more illegal aliens residing in California than believed or out-of-staters are flocking for cheapie licenses/identification.
Probably both suppositions are true.
Of course easy IDs are a national security threat and a danger to public safety. CIS notes that the 9/11 hijackers had 30 state-issued IDs among the 19 jihadists.
On Monday, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu appeared on Fox News to discuss the DLs convenience for foreign criminals. Wouldnt every Mexican cartel gangster want one? Or several?
STUART VARNEY: What direct threat, what is the risk to you as a law enforcement officer with a flood of illegals getting drivers licenses?
BABEU: Here, all of us in law enforcement across the country, this is a concern because this is what we use as government-issued identification proving who a person is and its just half a million you mentioned are licenses that have already been issued just in the last three months. In California they plan to issue one and a half million, and the concern is theres 11 states who are planning to do this, and the FBIs already testified before Congress saying that the consular matricula card thats issued basically to anybody who asks for one if theyre from Mexico, theres no proof that you need to show to verify in fact who you are. . . .
In the California law, Stuart, they actually, as a way to incentivize all these illegals to come and apply for this driver’s license, and they expect over 90 percent of all the illegals to do this, as they ease their fears saying they will not share any of the data, any of the personal information about the person coming forward with any other government agency. That should be alarming to all of us. . . .
This [license] has now become a right or an expectation for all these illegals now under Obama to say, hey, this is their right to have a license issued, not a privilege as it always has been.
Its curious that the state bureaucrats thought the illegals would come gradually over a couple years to get their licenses: its the key to the kingdom of free stuff, trouble-free travel and guaranteed no deportation. Of course the moochers are going to mob the DMVs to grab their cheap licenses ASAP. Its amnesty.
Driver’s license demand surges, Merced Sun Star, April 3, 2015
Surprising 500,000 Immigrants apply
A surge of undocumented immigrants seeking driver’s licenses has surprised the California Department of Motor Vehicles, pouring in at twice the rate officials expected and underscoring massive interest in the new program.
Just three months after driver’s licenses became available to immigrants living in California illegally, the product of legislation advocates had pursued fruitlessly for years before prevailing and passing Assembly Bill 60 in 2013, 493,998 have sought licenses. The number has surprised officials who spent months bracing for an influx of new customers by hiring staff, opening new DMV offices and extending hours.
“The interest in this program is far greater than anyone anticipated,” DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said in a statement.
In preparing to offer the new licenses, the DMV estimated that about 1.4 million immigrants would apply over the course of three years. The new figures show they have handled one-third of that expected total in three months, a rate double what the DMV expected, although the official estimate of the total number of eligible applicants remains the same. About 203,000 people have received licenses .
An initial burst of applicants began to level off in February, said a spokesman for the DMV. He attributed the rapid pace to a mass information campaign that enlisted law enforcement, elected officials, consular authorities and foreign language media to get the word out.
“There’s been a lot of outreach from many groups, many organizations,”said Artemio Armenta, a spokesman for the DMV. “A lot of efforts from every angle, from social media to the news media to community organizations getting the word out – it’s been a big effort across the board.”
The swell of immigrant license seekers has led to longer wait times for walk-ins at field offices and processing centers, particularly in Southern California. In response, DMV officials have been encouraging customers to handle requests online or make appointments. They added phone lines, responding to customers complaining of getting busy signals when they called for appointments, and restructured the workflow at offices.
“We sort of have a triage system, if you will,” Armenta said. “We were seeing longer lines at the beginning because people were coming in early, hoping to be the first to apply for a license.”
Before immigrants can begin the process of taking written and road tests they must establish their identity and their California residency, a requirement that prompted consternation from advocates worried that many immigrants lack adequate documentation. But the DMV said the vast majority of applicants, 90.8 percent, have had the necessary documents.
The huge turnout also defied worries that immigrants accustomed to remaining inconspicuous would stay away, fearful of walking into government offices and identifying themselves as being in the country illegally even though the law creating the license program keeps applicants’ data confidential and prohibits the Department of Motor Vehicles from sharing it with other government agencies.
But many people have not been deterred. Apolonio Morales, political director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, attributed the extraordinary interest both to California’s investment in staffing and outreach and to basic word of mouth.
“It’s definitely the community talking amongst themselves and saying this is possible,” Morales said. “At the end of the day it’s that card in their hands that makes the difference, and that’s the proof to the rest of the community that it can be done.”
Social media also helped drive interest. A Moreno Valley woman, Erika Paz, launched a Facebook group called Preparándonos para las Licencias, roughly “getting ourselves ready for licenses,” that provides guidance on getting licenses. Its wall teems with people posing logistical questions and sharing tips in Spanish. As of Friday afternoon the group boasted over 15,000 members.
Paz said she empathized with the concerns she hears. She was a teenager when her parents brought her to the country and stayed after their tourist visa expired, making her presence unlawful. She still drove to attend classes and get to work. Now a legal permanent resident who is applying for U.S. citizenship, Paz said she spends upward of three hours a day aiding fellow immigrants.
“I felt it was my responsibility to get people ready to take their tests and help with the procedures and make sure the communities can unite and help each other as much as possible,” Paz said.