Posted on February 24, 2012

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck: Give Driver’s Licenses to Illegal Immigrants

CBS Los Angeles, February 22, 2012

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck says the state of California should issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

The licenses don’t have to be identical to those issued to citizens and can be a provisional license or a nonresident license, Beck told a group of Los Angeles Times’ reporters and editorial writers.

“The reality is that all the things that we’ve done — ‘we’ being the state of California — over the last 14, 16 years have not reduced the problem on iota, haven’t reduced undocumented aliens driving without licenses. So we have to look at what we’re doing,” Beck told the group. {snip}

Beck believes issuing licenses to illegal immigrants would improve safety on California roads and would, for example, reduce the number of hit-and-run accidents because illegal immigrant drivers would not have fear being caught without a license at accidents, according to the Times.

Beck has in recent months pushed to make a controversial change to the LAPD’s vehicle impound rules for unlicensed drivers. The policy now calls for the car of an unlicensed driver to be impounded, but Beck wants unlicensed drivers with a clean record to be able to call another driver with a license, who would then be allowed to drive the car away.

The impound policy as it currently stands and the resulting fees and fines are an unfair burden on illegal immigrants, Beck has said.