California lawmaker to pursue drivers licenses for illegal immigrants
Facing his last year in the Legislature, Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) said Friday he has authored one more bill to carry out his years-long quest to provide driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.
Cedillo told The Times earlier this week that he has been encouraged by comments by Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca in favor of driver's licenses for the undocumented.
"As we are now hearing from the police chief and the sheriff, public safety has to be primary and we have to take politics out of public safety,'' Cedillo said. "Unlicensed motorists are more dangerous, and we have an opportunity to make sure every motorist is licensed.''
Friday was the last day to introduce bills for the year, and Cedillo has put in two "spot'' bills on the subject of "unlicensed drivers'' that do not yet contain language providing licenses but can be amended later.
"My goal is to have this done before I leave office in December,'' said Cedillo, who cannot run for re-election because of term limits.
Cedillo has introduced similar bills seven times before and most of them were vetoed while others failed to make it out of the Legislature. Gov. Jerry Brown has also voiced opposition to driver's licenses for illegal immigrants.
-- Patrick McGreevy, in Sacramento
Photo: Assemblyman Gil Cedillo is planning another attempt to pass a law providing drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press