Lorena Gonzalez Bill to Protect Personal Information of AB 60 License Holders Passes First Committee

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

SACRAMENTO -- (Tuesday, April 9, 2019) -- Legislation by California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) to protect the privacy of personal information collected by the Department of Motor Vehicles for the purpose of issuing driver’s licenses, passed its first vote in the Assembly Committee on Public Safety on Tuesday. The vote was 5 to 0.

In 2015, undocumented California residents could start obtaining driver’s licenses legally under a program created by Assembly Bill 60 (Alejo).This law assures us that all motorists, regardless of citizenship status, are expected to be trained, tested and insured while on California roads.

Residents were told the AB 60 driver’s license program would include safeguards to prevent abuse of the system prompted by federal immigration policies. But recent news investigations have uncovered that I.C.E. can access state-run law enforcement databases that contain personal information about participants in the AB 60 driver’s license program.

Assembly Bill 1747 will protect the privacy of California residents by ensuring I.C.E. agents do not have access to personal information, such as dates of birth, addresses or photos, contained in these state-run law enforcement databases.

“These tactics by I.C.E. are creating fear that undermines our AB 60 license program and ultimately makes us less safe on the road,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez said. “We will not allow federal immigration policies to disrupt the trust California has built within our immigrant communities.”

News reports cite individuals are afraid of facing immigration enforcement in relation for having a license, and the number of applicants for AB 60 driver’s licenses has sharply dropped in recent years.

AB 1747 will prohibit California law enforcement agencies from making personal information contained in their databases (including those maintained by private vendors) available for the purpose of immigration enforcement, except for an individual’s citizenship or immigration status which is required by federal law to be shared. AB 1747 would not apply to information on individuals with active arrest warrants.