Earlier this year, the California Legislature authorized, and Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed, a bill to allow the state to issue driver’s licenses to illegal aliens.
Since then, the program has issued over 500,000 licenses so far, despite the fact that many of the immigrants aren’t even in the country legally, Natural News reports.
In California and a few other places in the country, driving is treated as a “right” where everywhere else it is treated as a “privilege.”
According to Fox News Latino, Armando Botello, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), said that their milestone was reached mid-September:
“For us, the DMV, it is a source of great pride to have reached half a million this soon. We thought we would issue half a million applications per year and we did it in 9 months. This means the DMV work is paying off and that all drivers will be safer now.”
The state began its program in January, when it started providing special permits after a law took effect allowing illegal aliens to get one, as long as they provided an identification document, proof of residence and passed a written exam.
Since the California DMV does not ask applicants to provide their race or ethnicity, unlike the U.S. Census Bureau, it is unknown how many of the 500,000+ applicants are Hispanic, Fox News explained, although Botello said most were.
The number of licenses already issued has surprised DMV officials, who say they did not expect the number to reach half a million until December. Botello said DMV estimates say there are 1.4 million potential applicants in the state:
“We thought we would issue half a million in one year and we did it in nine months. I think it will be difficult that we reach one million in the next nine months because there are fewer people coming to the office.”
Initially, the licenses generated huge interest, as lines at DMV offices in the first two months of the year were even longer than usual.
The driver’s license program reportedly stemmed from a “study” by the DMV which claimed that licensing drivers would reduce traffic fatalities in the state, the Los Angeles Times reported.
But, as noted by Immigration Reform, the study was based on an illogical premise:
“While it is accurate that the DMV report found that ‘…unlicensed drivers are much more hazardous on the road than are validly licensed drivers,’ – three times more likely to cause a fatal crash – that is a far cry from concluding that driving would be safer if they had licenses.
Factors that accompany accidents, such as driving while intoxicated and lack of driving experience are not going to change just because an illegal alien driver has a license. Rather, the availability of a license is likely to simply increase the likelihood that an illegal alien will be on the road.”