Is CA right allowing illegal immigrants to obtain a state ID?

Mark J. Terrill / AP

Fact Box

  • On September 23, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1766 allowing non-driving undocumented immigrants from California to obtain a state ID to support “inclusion and meaningful participation in our communities and economy.”
  • Under Assembly Bill 60, Governor Jerry Brown signed a law in 2013 giving eligible undocumented immigrants the ability to get driver’s licenses.
  • According to a September 2022 Reuters/Ipsos poll, half of Americans believe President Biden “should be doing more” to stop illegal immigrants from entering the United States, with most support coming from Republicans and Independents. A CBS News/YouGov poll from earlier in the year revealed that a majority of Americans favor drastically restricting even legal migration, with 61% saying “allow some immigration, based on strict criteria.” Another 19% favor stopping “most or all immigration.”  
  • US Customs and Border Protection reported the number of migrant apprehensions at 203,597 in August 2022. Since July, the rate of migrants has increased 1.7% with 200,195 encounters.

Gina (Yes)

DHS last estimated in 2018 that roughly 11.4 million immigrants reside in the US unlawfully. The immigration law we know today was established in 1924, but it's clear that this process, which has been done over the past 100 years, is not working; it's time to shift course. 

Like any relationship, trust needs to be established. American citizens need to be able to trust that illegal immigrants will come in and respect the laws of this country. But up until this point, these immigrants have been set up for failure. Without proper identification, it is nearly impossible for undocumented immigrants to participate in the community. They cannot rent or buy homes, cash checks, establish accounts, get a marriage license, etc. 

To help ease these immigrants into their new identities as state residents and eventually US citizens, issuing IDs would accomplish two things: it would help immigrants settle into the community while equipping officials to document these populations so they are on record, ensuring they abide by our laws and regulations. California government officials have said, 'An alternate plea scheme will be created for defendants charged with drug offenses, which mitigates particular harm for noncitizen Californians.' This arrangement would ensure that this new privilege would not be extended to criminals, further appeasing the minds of Americans. 

Giving approximately 2 million people the chance to earn a living and fearlessly participate in building a life in the CA could prove to be a win/win situation. This could boost the economy, fill the holes in our current labor shortage, and bring healing to a long-lasting dispute between US citizens and immigrants.

Curtice (No)

From rampant homelessness and crime to the inability to provide adequate electricity to its citizens, California has plenty of problems, most of its own making. Yet, Governor Gavin Newsom's new policy will make things worse. Signing legislation that provides state IDs to illegal immigrants will do nothing to improve the lives of Californians. But that is not the intent.

In conjunction with the wide open border, providing state IDs to illegal immigrants only further incentivizes more foreign nationals to come to the United States without bothering to go through the proper—and legal—process. By signing this bill, Newsom and the Democrats who introduced it are being shamelessly transparent, normalizing illegal immigration by giving them perks and benefits usually reserved only for American citizens.

This furthers the ultimate goal of Newsom and other Leftists—to allow anyone with a state ID to vote and, presumably, vote Democrat. This is not only wrong and frustrating for citizens, but also for foreign-born citizens who followed the lengthy process of legal immigration.

California has trouble providing basic services, like consistent electricity to the homes of Californians. Homelessness, open defecation, and drug use on the streets are not only ongoing issues that politicians do not condemn but condone. Even Hall of Fame basketball great Bill Walton, a lifelong liberal, has had enough of the cities and state's inability to deal with the homeless problem. Yet, policies like these only further the problem.

Democrats act as if laws only apply to those who are not a favored constituency, and Newsom, as well as his party in the California State Assembly, hope illegal immigrants with California driver's licenses and now state IDs will soon become a large constituency and voting block for the Democrats.

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