The diocesan Office of Social Concerns will be holding training sessions in November for parish leaders who would like to learn about how they can help prepare members of their community to apply for a driver license. These training sessions will include an overview of the application process and the documents needed to complete the application. It will also include suggestions for how to help others to prepare for the written test.
In giving undocumented persons an opportunity to apply for a driver license, AB 60 aims to ensure that they will have the met the same knowledge and safety standards as other drivers.
State law guarantees that the personal information of undocumented immigrants who apply for the driver license will not be shared with other government agencies. Furthermore, law enforcement agencies cannot discriminate against those who hold these licenses or use their immigration status as a basis for criminal investigation or arrest.
From the perspective of Catholic Social teaching, AB 60 is good law. In attempting to make our roads safer, it promotes the common good. In legally extending the privilege to drive to those who demonstrate the knowledge and ability to do so safely, it recognizes the dignity of our common humanity. By allowing undocumented persons an opportunity to drive legally, it supports their right, affirmed by the Catholic Church, to seek meaningful work even if it means travelling some distance from their homes.
Driver licenses obtained through AB 60 are subject to some limitations. They cannot be used as a form of identification in order to board a plane. The license does not grant the holder rights to benefits they were not eligible for before they obtained the license, nor does it give them the right to vote.
AB 60 training sessions for parish leaders will take place at the Diocesan Pastoral Center on Monday, November 10th from 7-9 p.m; St. Louis Catholic Church in Cathedral City on Tuesday, November 11th from 7-9 p.m.; and at Holy Family Catholic Church in Hesperia on Monday, November 17th from 7-9 p.m.
Amanda Alexander is the Associate Director of Social Concerns for the Diocese of San Bernardino.