In summary

The state Department of Motor Vehicles reports it has issued more than 792,000 licenses to undocumented drivers. Now California is preparing for the possibility that the administration of President-elect Donald Trump—who campaigned on a promise to deport at least 2 million people—might demand access to various state databases that would reveal the names and locations of undocumented immigrants, such as the one maintained by the DMV. But in a state where Democrats hold the governor’s office and supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature, lawmakers say if the Trump administration does come knocking for such state data, their answer will be a vociferous “no.”

Since January of 2015, when the state of California began offering immigrants here illegally the opportunity to become lawful drivers, the state Department of Motor Vehicles reports it has issued more than 792,000 licenses to undocumented drivers. Now, however, California is preparing for the possibility that the administration of President-elect Trump—who campaigned on a promise to deport at least 2 million people—might demand access to various state databases that would reveal the names and locations of undocumented immigrants, such as the one maintained by the DMV.

But in a state where Democrats hold the governor’s office and supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature, lawmakers say if the Trump administration does come knocking for such state data, their answer will be a vociferous “no.” That would likely kick off what could be a protracted fed-versus-state legal battle—one in which people on both sides predict their argument would prevail.

“We’re consulting with our lawyers to make sure (data) is not accessible to federal authorities for any deportation proceedings,” said Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles). Read the full CALmatters story:

We want to hear from you

Want to submit a guest commentary or reaction to an article we wrote? You can find our submission guidelines here. Please contact Gary Reed with any commentary questions: gary@calmatters.org, (916) 234-3081.

Elizabeth Aguilera

Elizabeth Aguilera is an award-winning multimedia journalist who covers health and social services for CalMatters. She joined CalMatters in 2016 from Southern California Public Radio/KPCC 89.3 where she...