Come January, California will have a new category of driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants. The licenses will read “Federal Limits Apply.”
The California DMV will add staff and hours to accommodate high demand for the licenses: estimates are that 1.4M new licenses will be issued. Public affairs officers for the agency say they plan to hire between 800 and 1000 new staff members across the state to process applications.
Illegal immigrants with the license might get stopped by the police but they will not get deported nor will their cars get impounded.
“The driver’s license, the way it is and the way it’ll be shown and produced for undocumented folks, will really have a lot of safeguards, and so we’re working very closely with law enforcement on that issue so that there isn’t that fear,” said Linda Lopez, chief of the L.A. mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.
Some illegal immigrants are still afraid of getting the licenses. “I think a lot of people are going to be scared of that, because then now there’s a form to find you,” said South L.A. resident David Vargas. “How can they be sure that they’re not going to use that to deport them later on?”