Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Duncan Hunter released draft legislation to restrict specific federal funding to states—including California—that issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants in accordance with the Administration’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” directive.
Implemented through executive order, the directive provides temporary legal status to illegal immigrants. And in turn, a bill passed by the California state legislature and recently presented to Governor Jerry Brown would permit driver’s licenses to be issued to as many as 450,000 individuals in the state alone.
Hunter’s legislation would deny federal funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program to states that issue driver’s licenses under the Administration’s new program. Through COPS, California received over $23 million in FY2012 to advance the practice of community policing through research and guidebooks, and fund supplement salaries for new hires.
“The State of California is a leader in sanctuary policies that stand in direct violation of the law,” said Congressman Hunter. “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.”
Citing his draft legislation, Congressman Hunter added, “This bill presents California and other states with a clear choice. Should the state choose to proceed with issuing driver’s licenses, then it will have to do so without funding from the federal government that is intended to help enforce laws that the state continues to ignore. Should the state choose to uphold its obligations and consistently and thoroughly enforce the law, then supplemental federal funding will remain available. It’s a simple proposition—intended to help California make the right decision to best serve the interests of families and taxpayers.”