California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter has drafted legislation that would aim to deny federal funding for programs that would give driver’s licenses to illegal aliens.
Under President Barack Obama’s new “deferred action for childhood arrivals” policy — which is effectively an administrative DREAM Act — illegal aliens are provided temporary legal status if they meet certain criteria. In Hunter’s state of California, legislation has passed the state legislature and been presented to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown that would permit the state to issue driver’s licenses to such illegal immigrants.
“Should the state choose to proceed with issuing driver’s licenses, then it will have to so without funding from the federal government that is intended to help enforce laws that the state continues to ignore,” Hunter said.
In a release, Hunter’s office estimates that 450,000 illegal aliens would receive driver’s licenses in California. Other states may follow California’s lead.
Hunter said his legislation would block federal funds in the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program from being used in states that give illegal aliens driver’s licenses. Hunter’s office said California received about $23 million in COPS funding in fiscal year 2012.
“The State of California is a leader in sanctuary policies that stand in direct violation of the law,” Hunter said in a statement announcing his draft legislation. “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,” he said.