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Green Party of California

Green Party urges swift passage of immigrant driver's license measure as ‘compassionate,' safe solution

For immediate release: Monday, August 9, 2004

Cres Vellucci, State Press Office, 916-996-1970,
Beth Moore Haines, GPCA Spokesperson, 530-277-0610,
Sara Amir, GPCA Spokesperson, 310-270-7106,

SACRAMENTO – The Green Party of California Monday urged quick passage of legislation designed to provide state driver's licenses to all motorists, citizens and non-citizens, and make the state's roads safer for every Californian.

SB 1160, authored by Sen. Gilbert A. Cedillo (D-22nd District), is the subject of a major rally Monday at the State Capitol. It is due to be heard before the Senate Appropriations committee later this week.

Sen. Cedillo – who received the Green Party's full support last year at a Greens state convention – has modified his previous legislation to accommodate "security concerns" by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

SB 1160, known as the "Immigrant Responsibility and Security Act," gives undocumented immigrants who have applied for legal status or who promise to do so a chance to obtain a state driver's license. Applicants must present proof of identification from a passport or documents issued by the their home country, and submit a full set of fingerprints and undergo a state and federal criminal background check.

"Undocumented workers should have full access to what our culture and society offers. They should have had this license a year ago under SB 60, but Democrats provided that opportunity and then took it away. That was an affront to our Latino friends and neighbors," said Tom Hutchings, Green Party candidate for 33rd Assembly District (San Luis Obispo).

"The Green Party has long been critical of inconsistent federal immigration policies, and California's economy depends in large part on immigrant workers. Providing driver's licenses with appropriate security checks is a pragmatic and compassionate solution," said Santa Monica Mayor pro tem Kevin McKeown, who pushed through a measure in his city to support the effort.

"Residents and visitors alike rely on immigrant service workers, who must drive to keep their jobs and feed their families. Social justice and common sense demand we enable them to obtain legal driver's licenses and insurance, making our streets safer for all of us," McKeown added.


The Green Party of California
P.O. Box 2828, Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437