The people of California have mixed feelings about Gov. ArnoldSchwarzenegger recent decision to veto legislation that would haveallowed illegal immigrants living in California to obtaindriver’s permits.
Democrats are determined to get thelegislation passed vowing to try again next year, while Republicansare content with the present decision and are seeking theenforcement of even more restrictions for illegal immigrants. “Not a bad day if you want to stop giving benefits to peoplehere illegally,” said Republican Assembly President MikeSpence to the LA Times.
The California Republican Assembly as a wholehas begun collecting signatures to not only ban illegal immigrantsfrom obtaining driver’s licenses, but to make them ineligiblefor other rights of state citizens, like the right to pay in-statecollege tuition.
Jennifer Owens, Sacramento native and HowardUniversity student said, “America is supposed to be a placewhere people can come when things are going wrong in theircountries. I feel [Gov. Schwarzenegger] is a hypocrite;someone gave him a chance and now he is taking that away fromothers.” Owens also felt that this action made is onlya ploy by Republicans to get minorities out of affluentuniversities in California.
“I am disappointed that the governorvetoed this measure, despite the fact that this right currentlyexists in 10 other states and that he gave his word that he wouldwork with the Legislature on an acceptable sill,” AssemblySpeaker Fabian Nunez told LA Times.
California’s 34.9 percent minoritypopulation has caused uproar within the community. Manyminorities feel Schwarzenegger has retracted his claim that he wasworking toward their best interest.
“There is no reason in the world thatSchwarzenegger should accept us to work in his kitchens, tolandscape his yard and wash his Hummer and not allow us to have adriver’s license,” said Nativo V. Lopez, nationalpresident of both the Mexican American Political Assn. andHermandad Mexicana.
According to Elizabeth Garrett, a lawprofessor at University of Southern California, this issue will notbe resolved any time soon.
“This license bill is going to be apartof our politics and part of our discourse,” Garrett said,”but I don’t see any chance that in the near futureit’s going to be enacted.”