The Obama Administration’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” directive took effect last month and provides an opportunity for illegal alien children, who were brought to the U.S. by their irresponsible parents, a chance to obtain legal status. However, the specifics of the executive order were vague opening the door for states to issue various types of legal identification programs.
Typically, Republican-led governors are blocking deferred action recipients from obtaining driver’s licenses. On the flip side, Democrat-led governors want to issue the most common form of ID, state driver’s licenses. For example, a bill passed by the California state legislature was given to Governor Brown that would give 450,000 deferred action applicants’ driver’s licenses.
“The State of California is a leader in sanctuary policies that stand in direct violation of the law,” Congressman Hunter explained. “In this case, the state will hide behind a federal policy that sidestepped Congress, but that won’t change the fact that the Administration’s directive disregards federal law and disrespects those who have been patiently and lawfully waiting for their opportunity. The only way California will begin abiding by the law—whether on this or any other immigration-related issue—is if there are direct consequences for implementing and defending sanctuary policies.”
In an effort to clarify President Obama’s executive order, Hunter’s legislation would deny federal funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program to states that issue driver’s licenses under Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) new program.
This year California received more than $23 million from the federal government’s COPS program. The federal COPS program also provides state law enforcement agencies with a practice of community policing using research, guidebooks, and it funds new hires with supplemental salaries.
Citing his draft legislation, Congressman Hunter added, “This bill presents California and other states with a clear choice. Should the state choose to proceed with issuing driver’s licenses, then it will have to do so without funding from the federal government that is intended to help enforce laws that the state continues to ignore. Should the state choose to uphold its obligations and consistently and thoroughly enforce the law, then supplemental federal funding will remain available. It’s a simple proposition—intended to help California make the right decision to best serve the interests of families and taxpayers.”