Some California lawmakers and advocacy groups are pushing for the Senate to pass AB 1766, known as the “CA ID for All,” which would allow undocumented migrants to obtain California identification cards.
The cards are intended for people who are not drivers and therefore do not have a restricted driving license to use as proof of identity.
Advocacy groups have said it is “nonsensical” that undocumented migrants should not have recourse to obtaining identification for tasks such as opening a bank account and enrolling a child in school.
Those who don’t drive or have access to a car — usually the disabled or elderly immigrants — don’t have some form of California ID, they claim.
Here’s a dive into what the bill is and what it would change.
What is AB 1766, CA ID for everyone?
AB 1766 is a bill that allows undocumented migrants to obtain California ID. If the bill is passed, California residents, regardless of their legal status, would be able to obtain the ID.
People with disabilities such as epilepsy or degenerative eye disease due to their age and who are unable to obtain a license due to these conditions would also benefit.
“This bill brings justice to those who have not had access to the basic necessities of life because they do not have legally recognized identification,” Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-South Los Angeles) said in a press release. “What many of us take for granted — having an ID — will have life-changing consequences for many in the immigrant and disabled communities.”
Several members of the LA area, including Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-South Los Angeles) and Assembly member Mike Gipson (D-Carson), wrote AB 1766.
If passed, California’s CA ID for All law would make California the first state in the nation to allow undocumented migrants to obtain standardized ID cards. California was also the first in the nation to allow undocumented migrants to obtain driver’s licenses in 2013. Learn more about that bill, AB 60, below.
The bill says the documents that must be filed to get this new California ID won’t be made public unless it’s part of a warrant or subpoena.
What is AB60?
AB 60 was adopted in 2013. This law allows those who are not US citizens, but who meet the legal requirements, to obtain a driver’s license in California.
It is only a state ID and cannot be used as a federal ID. The law also prohibited people from using the driver’s license to work, vote, or receive benefits they had not previously been eligible for. It is also not recommended to use it to board an airplane.
There is a checklist on the California DMV site to determine if you meet the requirements. You’ll find it here.
With AB 60, non-residents can obtain proof of identity. With AB 1766, this bill covers others who would not get an AB 60 driver’s license because they have no intention of using it to drive a car.
What can people do if they have been given an AB 1766 ID?
People can use this California ID card to apply for bank accounts, housing, health services and employment.
When would AB 1766 come into effect, if passed?
The bill says the law would go into effect on January 1, 2024 if passed by the Senate. It’s already over in the meeting.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and the California Immigrant Policy Center support the bill, along with several members of the assembly.