Last April, the
That policy, however, didn't sit well with the union that represents police officers and a conservative watchdog group, both of which filed a lawsuit challenging the rule. Now, a Los Angeles judge has found in their favor, ruling that Special Order 7 is illegal because it is preempted by state law.
This page supported the LAPD policy as both reasonable and practical, and we're dismayed that the judge struck it down. But it was never a perfect solution. A far more sensible approach to dealing with the problem would be to enact legislation that allows immigrants, regardless of their residency status, to apply for and receive driver's licenses. A driver's license doesn't confer legal residency; it merely tells law enforcement authorities that the person behind the wheel of that car has passed a written exam and a driving test and is qualified to be on the road. Granting licenses to noncitizens would also help address the unfair reality, as documented in 2010 by the the Center for Investigative Reporting, that most of the drivers losing their cars at checkpoints for not having a license were sober immigrants who were driving perfectly well.