Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
October 3, 2013

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Thursday granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, reversing his position on an issue legislative Democrats have pressed for years.

Brown signed the bill at a ceremony in Los Angeles, the state’s largest media market. The Democratic governor then traveled to Fresno Thursday afternoon for a second ceremony promoting the bill’s enactment.

The legislation is the latest in a series of victories for undocumented immigrants in California. Brown signed legislation in 2011 allowing undocumented immigrant college students to receive public financial aid, and he approved a measure last year making driver’s licenses available to some undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children and are allowed to work here under federal rules.

Brown said in his 2010 campaign for governor that he opposed making driver’s licenses available to undocumented immigrants. He called the measure a “little piecemeal” solution that “sends the wrong signal,” and he urged comprehensive immigration policy changes instead.

Brown said last month that he changed his mind because of “foot-dragging on the part of Congress and not creating immigration reform.”

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