California Driver’s License Bill Hurts National Security

Driver's LicenseDuring the same week that we remembered the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 the California Legislature passed two bills that increase our national security risks. After passing Assembly Bill 4, which prohibits state & local law enforcement from working with ICE when illegal aliens are arrested for crimes, they moved onto making it it legal to give an illegal alien a driver’s license with AB 60!

AB 60 is now on its way to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for his signature. If you are in California, please call Governor Jerry Brown NOW at 916-445-2841 and tell him to veto this bill. 

Unlike legal immigrants, illegal aliens are not subject to any background checks or face-to-face interviews to determine the existence of any national security threat that they might pose. Remember, the 19 terrorists who carried out the September 11, 2001 attacks held more than 30 state driver’s licenses and ID cards among them.

The threat of a terrorist attack coming from someone who illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexican boarder remains very real. Earlier this week, Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) asked retired Army Major General Robert H. Scales about this possibility during a Congressional hearing regarding Syria.


Scales replied: The largest Iranian embassy in the world is in Venezuela. A chemical like sarin is something that you could put in a hipflask and get across the border. It’s really fundamental to the essence of our ability to protect the nation, particularly now that this horrible commodity called sarin has been loosed in the Middle East and the bar against its use, I would predict, will continue to lower.

While the point of crossing might be Texas or Arizona or New Mexico, the point of impact could very well be Pennsylvania or Montana or New York. Because once you’re across the border, it’s nothing more than an interstate trip of a couple of days to put the stuff right in the heartland.

Earlier today, FAIR also issued a statement explaining the dangers of AB 60:

The report of the blue ribbon commission investigating the attacks of 9/11 clearly stated that the ability of the terrorists to obtain valid, government-issued identity documents facilitated their ability to plan and execute the deadly attacks. In response, Congress enacted the REAL ID Act in 2005, with the intent of discouraging state governments from issuing driver’s licenses and other identity documents to illegal aliens under threat of invalidating those documents for federal identification purposes. AB 60 is designed to circumvent requirements of REAL ID Act, ignoring the serious homeland security threats the federal law sought to address.

Although the licenses may not be used for federal identification purposes, AB 60 includes explicit protections for holders of these documents. In particular, the bill makes it “a violation of law to discriminate against an individual because he or she holds or presents a license issued under these provisions.” The bill also bars police from using these driver’s licenses as a basis for arresting or detaining an individual for violations of federal immigration laws.

In addition to increasing national security risks, AB 60 also brings other consequences to Californians

• AB 60 only requires documents that are easy to forge or obtain illegally. 

Illegal aliens by definition do not have valid U.S. identification or work authorization documents. Therefore, they depend on foreign or forged documents when necessary. AB 60 expressly authorizes California DMV officials to accept a slew of foreign documents as proof of identification. The California DMV does not have the capacity to verify the validity of such documents.

• AB 60 only encourages more illegal immigration.

A California driver’s license is a state benefit. Providing public benefits to illegal aliens only rewards illegal behavior and invites further illegal immigration to a state that already has the highest population of illegal aliens in the country!

• AB 60 hurts California’s unemployed.

The California unemployment rate is up to 8.6%, which surpasses the national unemployment rate of 7.3%. Granting driver’s licenses to illegal aliens makes it easier for them to find jobs. Becauseemployers get away with paying lower wages, this undercuts opportunities for those with legal work authorization in the U.S. and yields little to no tax revenue for the state.

• AB 60 wastes California taxpayer dollars. 

In times of scarce resources and budget cuts, California taxpayers should not have to shoulder the burden of providing education, health care and other services to illegal aliens who are subject to immediate deportation under federal law.

• AB 60 will not make California’s roads safer. 

AB 60 in no way guarantees safer roads or that illegal immigrants will purchase insurance. The state of New Mexico grants driver’s licenses to illegal aliens AND has the second highest percentage of uninsured drivers in the country. While many states’ laws require all motorists to have auto insurance, there is no reason to think that illegal aliens, having disregarded so many other laws, would obey this one, nor have the cash available or incentive to acquire auto insurance.


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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. Pingback: Reckless Legislating | American-Rattlesnake

  2. avatar

    Only in California can the voices of Illegal Aliens be heard over U.S Citizens, and have laws created just for them, to better facilitate and simplify their life here—despite being unlawfully in the country and not recognized as legal by federal government. It is disgusting! The pandering by state, local and city government is EPIC. AB60 is bad policy. Those fools, state legislature and governor, think granting illegal aliens w/ driving privilege will generate new revenue in car insurance! or worse yet, make our streets safer! It did not reduce accidents in New Mexico nor did they see uptick in newly insured. Policymakers have lost all semblance of moral compass–we need help! S.O.S. Save Our State! We need federal government intervention—to issue mandates to halt these laws and policies. I vow to help end all ‘illegal’ sanctuary policies. We just overturned Special Order 7, but being g challenged once again. What can we do, FAIR?

  3. avatar

    Californian policymakers from state, local and city government have truly gone off the proverbial deep end! The pandering to illegal aliens is EPIC. That backwards Governor signed a slew ofbills into law that benefit…who else? Illegal aliens! I was sent a newsletter today from Pasadena Police Chief and learned there are various states coming forward informing them of real PITFALLS! i.e. from identity fraud to no real change in public safety. Wow, no surprise. I fully support FAIR, the report and statement you provided makes abaolute sense. Illegal aliens have never respected our laws to begin with, for if they had, they would stay off our streets and not drive a vehicle—they are unauthorized. Ride abike. Take bus. RESPECT THE LAWS! Yet, they do drive, and have, some for over 15yrs. That is not only cheating the state, but it is stealing from taxpayers! It is an outrage. But did Alejo address paying back the State of California prior into the language of his bill? There is no justice for law abiding, when we are forced to bear witness to our own government rewarding illegal behavior, enacting illegal ‘sanctuary’ policies. We just only recently got to enjoy a victory of having Special Order 7 overturned by a Judge, but now an L.A. city attorney wants to appeal and take to highger court and request in meanwhile the directive be rescinded! Only in California can Illegal Aliens get government to LISTEN and comply w/ demands , over Constituents–legal citizens…. and get reaults in their favor. We need Help, FAIR! What is next? At this point, if we place enough preasure—mass faxes, calls, emails, press conference….force Brown to overturn his own bill—AB60 is bad policy.

  4. avatar

    if illegals are illegal to begin with why does anyone think theyll apply for a drivers license ( they probably dont speak enough english to pass the test anyway )

  5. avatar
    John Winthropkjn on

    The critical is that? i we will know who they are and have their info & pictures!….OH BOY!! this is a sign that Immigration Reform is NEAR!!

  6. avatar

    Streamlining Drivers’ Licence Access to IAs

    May help access a larger/cheaper labor pool; but severely hinders documentation requirements for stopping security problems and identity theft mitigation.

  7. avatar

    Is the world going crazy? Or is just the crazy bleeding heart politics that is out of control?

    Why are deliberately importing poverty, illiteracy, no-skills, free-loaders? Along with the “sheep” hide many dangerous wolves who would stop at nothing to bring down our county.

  8. avatar

    lawbreakers they are by entering I l l e g a l l y and then to have the State of California reward them for their breaking the law is to question the sponsors of this bill.

    When is our government going to have the guts and stamina to say “NO” to illegals. Most are in drugs or criminal acts. The remainder are coming to employers paying low wages. The illegal fails to remember that they do not have any rights and the abuse by employers goes unpunished!





    • avatar

      So did everybody in the past….get over it…………………….yes you have the irresponsible illegals but also the one that contributed towards your lazyness by giving us the American Dream…..