How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

California DMV hiring 900 to serve immigrant drivers

California DMV immigrants

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California's DMV is hiring more than 900 workers in preparation for an influx of immigrant drivers.

California's Department of Motor Vehicles is on a massive hiring blitz as it prepares for a new customer base: an estimated 1.4 million immigrant drivers living in California illegally.

AB 60, a new law taking effect Jan. 1, allows immigrants to apply for licenses despite their lack of legal status. DMV spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez said the agency has hired more than 400 people and plans to bring on another 500 by January.

"It's a huge undertaking and we've really been working on this since Gov. Brown signed the bill in October 2013," Gonzalez said.

The new hires will help staff four temporary DMV sites created for the expected uptick in business. Offices in Lompoc, Stanton, Granada Hills and San Jose will stay open for three years, though Gonzalez said leases could be extended depending on demand. More workers could also be hired; the governor's budget allows for up to 1,000 new positions, Gonzalez said.

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Homeland Security officials have tentatively signed off on a design prototype for California driver's licenses that will be available to immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally. The California DMV is to start taking applications in January.

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California DMV to 'move forward' with immigrant driver's licenses - Southern California Public Radio Homeland Security officials have tentatively signed off on a design prototype for California driver's licenses that will be available to immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally. The federal government has rejected a previous design because it was not sufficiently different from standard licenses and didn't comply with federal law. The California DMV is to start taking applications in January.

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California DMV to 'move forward' with immigrant driver's licenses

AB 60 approved design

Courtesy of California DMV


The California Department of Motor Vehicles has finalized the look of its immigrant driver's licenses after some tweaks to the design were met with federal approval. 

"We’re on track to move forward with the design, so we can go to a company who makes the licenses for us," DMV spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez said Friday.

The DMV plans to start taking license applications from immigrants in the country illegally next January.

The Department of Homeland Security had said an earlier version of immigrant driver's licenses did not have enough markings to distinguish it from 'compliant' licenses.  The proposed design included “DP” as in “driving privilege" on the front of the card instead of the typical "DL" for "driver's license."

On Aug. 20, the DMV presented a revised design to DHS, which included the phrase "federal limits apply." The back of the card also made it clear that the card is not to be used for "official federal purposes."

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Photo by Michael Dorausch via Flickr Creative Commons

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept. hopes to a renew its contract for a federal-local enforcement partnership known as 287(g), which the federal government has scaled back in recent years.

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County cops seek to renew federal-local immigration enforcement partnership - Southern California Public Radio The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is seeking to renew a voluntary federal-local partnership that deputizes county authorities to screen inmates for immigration status - and possible deportation. L.A. County is one of relatively few counties nationwide to continue participating in the program known as 287(g), scaled back in recent years by the federal government.

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County cops seek to renew federal-local immigration enforcement partnership

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The sign at a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department substation. The agency seeks to renew a federal-local immigration enforcement partnership, which deputizes county authorities to screen inmates for immigration status and possible deportation.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is seeking to renew a federal-local immigration enforcement partnership that deputizes county authorities to screen inmates for immigration status - and possible deportation.

Los Angeles is one of two remaining counties in the state, along with Orange County, to continue participating in the program known as 287(g). The federal government has scaled back the voluntary program in recent years as it's expanded the broader Secure Communities, which 287(g) predates.

If approved by county supervisors, the new federal-local agreement would replace an earlier agreement that's set to expire at the end of September, according to a draft memo. Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Nicole Nishida confirmed the department's request to renew its 287(g) contract; she said the Board of Supervisors may vote on it Sept. 23.

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