On September 30, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law allowing deferred action recipients to obtain driver’s licenses and vetoed another statute designed to prevent local law enforcement from assisting federal authorities in detaining undocumented immigrants for possible deportation.
The new law, which takes effect on January 1, 2013, will permit undocumented immigrants who successfully apply for the federal government’s new deferred action program to receive valid California driver’s licenses. The measure contrasts with other states’ approaches to granting state benefits for deferred action holders - as we reported earlier, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer announced that such individuals would be explicitly barred from qualifying for driver’s licenses and other state privileges.
In addition to the new driver’s license statute, Governor Brown also vetoed the Trust Act, stating that it would shield undocumented immigrants involved in crimes. The measure was vigorously opposed by some members of law enforcement, including those who currently participate in Secure Communities, a federal program that runs the fingerprints of every person booked in local jails through federal databases and flags suspected cases of undocumented immigration.