Proponents of a measure that would repeal California’s “Sanctuary State” law and reverse another law that allows undocumented immigrants in California to get a driver’s license have been cleared to gather signatures for a 2020 ballot initiative.
The proposal, called the “Children, Family and Community Protection Act,” would require cooperation between state and local enforcement in efforts to verify the immigration status of anyone who is arrested and suspected of being in the U.S. illegally, according to a summary on the California secretary of state’s website.
It would also prohibit local governments and police agencies from limiting cooperation with ICE and other federal authorities — something currently prevented in certain cases by California’s recently enacted Senate Bill 54, better known as the “Sanctuary State” law.
“To become a sanctuary state, we all felt was unwarranted when we have so many other issues to worry about — homelessness and all those other issues — and we’re focused on the lives of people who don’t even live in this country or want to enter illegally,” Ravi Mehta, who supports the ballot measure, told KTLA sister station KTXL in Sacramento.
The initiative also seeks to reverse another law, Assembly Bill 60, which allows anyone who cannot prove they are in the U.S. legally to get a California driver’s license using identification from their home country, according to KTXL.
They still, however, must show proof of California residency and pass the state’s written and driving tests.
Gov. Brown signed the law in 2013, but it didn’t go into effect until 2015.
As of April 2018, the DMV has issued driver’s licenses to more than a million undocumented immigrants, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Supporters of AB 60 pushed for the law as a safety measure, arguing that many immigrants were already getting behind the wheel, but the lack of training and testing required of other drivers were making the roads less safe.
Opponents of the proposed ballot measure, however, say that the law makes it more difficult to determine whether someone is in the country illegally.
“The line that AB 60 will make the roads safer was totally bull,” Don Rosenberg, who submitted the amended version of the initiative, said in an interview with the Sacramento Bee. “It is not safer. It was a complete lie.”
Rosenberg, a Westlake Village resident, has been a vocal opponent of illegal immigration since one of his sons was struck and killed by an undocumented immigrant in 2010, according to the Los Angeles Times.
He believes the law will improve overall public safety and reduce the number of traffic-related fatalities, the Bee reported.
The initiative would also prohibit automatic voter registration in the state, something Rosenberg thinks can help prevent voter fraud.
One opponent of the ballot initiative is Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo, who expressed support in the fight to preserve AB 60.
“The loss of Don Rosenberg’s son is unfortunate, but we cannot blame an entire class of motorists for it,” Cedillo said in an emailed statement. “California is a leader for immigrant protections, as is evidence by the numerous laws we’ve enacted and the lawsuits filed against ICE. We must stop politicizing immigration issues for political gain, like we have done with DACA, DAPA and the separation of families.”
The councilman added, “It is Mr. Rosenberg’s right to collect signatures for this initiative, but I advise him not to poke the hornet’s nest.”
Supporters have until Dec. 19 to gather nearly 366,000 signatures in order to qualify the measure for the November 2020 ballot.