Last week, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new law that does not require proof of citizenship for residents of California to obtain a driver's license. This is a common sense measure, obviously. Immigrants, documented or otherwise, will be on the roads and everyone has a vested interest in them going through the same driving skills test that others must go through. As well, there is an obvious social justice component - an undocumented person may need a car to go to the store to buy groceries, especially in California which is not the most mass transit-friendly place on the planet.
At the bill signing ceremony, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles spoke to applaud the governor and the legislators for enacting this new law - and to point out that such measures, though needed, are no replacement for comprehensive immigration reform. Here below is the text of his remarks:
Remarks — Signing of Assembly Bill 60
Most Reverend José H. Gomez
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Archbishop of Los Angeles
Los Angeles City Hall
October 3, 2013
Governor Brown, Assemblyman Alejo —I want to thank both of you especially for your leadership and commitment to our poor and working poor, especially our immigrants.Quisiera darles las gracias por su liderazgo y su compromiso con los pobres y los trabajadores sencillos y honestos, especialmente nuestros inmigrantes.
Driving is one of the basic necessities of life. So this new law is going to make a big difference for millions of people in their everyday lives.
It will make it easier for them to get to work, to go to school, to go the store, to get to church. This bill will make our families, our communities and our economy stronger.
But as good as this legislation is — it’s still only a half-measure.
Our nation’s immigration system is totally broken. Sacramento can’t fix that problem. Only Washington can. We need immigration reform that keeps families together, that gives rights to workers, and that provides a generous path to citizenship.
El sistema de inmigración nacional, como todos sabemos, es completamente inadecuado. Pero el problema no se puede resolver en Sacramento. Solo se puede arreglar en Washington.
Necesitamos una reforma migratoria que mantenga a las familias unidas, que respete los derechos de los trabajadores y que incluya un camino generoso hacia la ciudadanía.
So let’s keep working together with our leaders in Washington for reform that is real and comprehensive — so all our brothers and sisters can join us in the promise of America, and so they can live with the dignity that God intends for them.
Again, thank you and may God bless you all.