California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Sunday that will enable some undocumented immigrants to apply for drivers licenses. Brown has signed AB2189, legislation that will allow the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue licenses to immigrants eligible for work permits under Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
However, Brown vetoed AB1081 by fellow Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco. The bill, dubbed “anti-Arizona” legislation, would have protected illegal immigrants who commit minor infractions from deportation. The so-called Trust Act would have let California opt out of some parts of a federal program that requires local law enforcement officers to check the fingerprints of people they arrest against a federal immigration database and hold those who are in the country illegally.
Brown backed comprehensive federal immigration reform, and said in a veto message that federal agents “shouldn’t try to coerce local law enforcement officials into detaining people who’ve been picked up for minor offenses and pose no reasonable threat to their community.”
However, he said the list of serious or violent felonies in the bill is “fatally flawed because it omits many serious crimes.” He said those include child abuse, drug trafficking, and weapons violations, among others. He promised to work with lawmakers to fix the bill’s wording.