September 26, 2022
LOS ANGELES, CA – In a victory for immigrant families and communities across California, today the governor signed AB 1766 (CA IDs 4 ALL) into law. AB 1766 will make available state-issued identification (ID) cards to all Californians, regardless of immigration status, by July 1, 2027. This landmark legislation will close the gap left by AB 60 (Alejo, 2013), which made drivers licenses available to undocumented residents, by expanding California ID access to all undocumented residents. Residents without access to a car or who are unable to take a driver’s test will benefit most from this bill; including women, elderly, individuals with disabilities, and people who were formerly incarcerated. The California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) is one of the main sponsors of this bill, and the sponsor of the original AB 60 driver’s license bill.
“Throughout this campaign we heard from many immigrants who spoke about the challenges they face from not having an ID,” said Shiu-Ming Cheer, Deputy Director of Programs and Campaigns at the California Immigrant Policy Center. “IDs are needed for so many aspects of everyday life, from accessing critical health benefits to renting an apartment. CIPC is proud of California taking this step to create a more inclusive state for immigrants.”
“As an organization serving many Asian Pacific Islander (API) undocumented residents who struggle to meet their daily needs due to the lack of a basic identification card, we know how much this will positively impact their livelihoods and enhance the wellbeing of our API community. AJSOCAL applauds the governor for expanding the privileges that our community rightfully deserves and celebrates this win for the immigrant rights community,” said Connie Chung Joe, CEO of Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California (AJSOCAL).
“Nearly 10 years ago CHIRLA celebrated driver licenses for all Californians. Today we celebrate access to Identification Cards for all, which will benefit over 1 million Californians,” said Angelica Salas, Executive Director at Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA). “Having a California ID card, especially for those who do not have access to a car, will help individuals navigate important services and volunteer opportunities in their communities. Most importantly, it is another step towards full inclusivity as a California resident, regardless of immigration status. We thank Governor Newsom for his leadership, and we look forward to working on implementation.”
“We at the ILRC applaud Governor Newsom for signing AB 1766 into law. Ensuring that all Californians–regardless of their immigration status–can access the resources this state has made available to its residents is essential in these difficult times. A California ID goes a long way for immigrants looking to access social services, health care, and other forms of support necessary to thrive. When California leads with policies that place the needs of their immigrant community in mind, we all benefit because our communities become stronger,” said Ariel Brown, Staff Attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.
“I’m really grateful to live in a state where my loved ones and I will be able to access local resources, and generally have our way of life improved by no longer feeling isolated by the lack of a recognized form of identification,” said Kassandra Merlos, an undocumented youth advocate. “Newsom signing AB 1766 is a step towards ensuring immigrant communities can have access to the care they deserve.”
“Thank you to the governor for signing this legislation and providing state-IDs to over 1.6 million undocumented CA residents,” said Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) and author of AB 1766. “These IDs will be put to good use – allowing undocumented citizens to safely access everyday essentials like opening a bank account and accessing healthcare.”
The California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) is a statewide immigrant rights organization that advocates for policies that protect and advance the rights of immigrants and their families throughout California. CIPC combines legislative and policy advocacy, strategic communications, statewide organizing, and regional coalition capacity building to pursue its mission of advocating for policies that uphold the humanity of immigrants and refugees while advancing racial, social, and economic justice.