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California Legislature

Two possible instances of discrimination reported after California issues driver's licenses to immigrants here illegally

The front of the AB 60 license. (Courtesy: California Department of Motor Vehicles)
The front of the AB 60 license. (Courtesy: California Department of Motor Vehicles)

The California Research Bureau on Tuesday released its first report on incidents of discrimination under a 2015 state law that has provided driver’s licenses for hundreds of thousands of immigrants here illegally. 

Researchers found no complaints have been made against government agencies tasked with enforcing anti-discrimination laws. But two possible instances of discrimination were reported in focus group interviews conducted by Drive California, a coalition of advocates studying the impact of the new law.

In one case, a woman in Fresno was told her license was not a valid form of identification at a retail store, though it was unclear “whether the incident reflected intentional discrimination or simple ignorance of the license marking,” the report states.

A MoneyGram clerk in another case denied a license holder the ability to cash a check. The same person was later rejected again at a bank.

The state Department of Motor Vehicles has issued 960,000 AB 60 driver’s licenses as of Nov. 30. The state research bureau produced the report for the Legislature as part of the new law, which declares discrimination against an AB 60 license holder a violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act.

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