California has some of the worst drivers in the world. And there's a very good reason for that.
More than 1 million undocumented immigrants have received driver's licenses, the California Department of Motor Vehicles announced Wednesday.
Undocumented immigrants with licenses. What could possibly go wrong?
Assembly Bill 60, authored by then-Assemblyman Luis Alejo in 2013, required California DMV offices to issue driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants as long as they can prove their identity and residence within the state. The law has led to 1,001,000 undocumented immigrants receiving licenses as of March 31 but doesn't give the licensees carte blanche to drive outside of California or fly across state or federal borders.
"Immigrants are getting tested, licensed and insured and this is making our roads safer for everyone," said Alejo, now a Monterey County supervisor, in a prepared statement.
Safer. For everyone.
Angela Aguilar had just gone back inside her Fullerton home to cook. She thought her 6-year-old daughter, Grace, was also inside.
Grace Aguilar, though, was in the front yard, where she had gone to sit by her favorite tree. Angela Aguilar heard the crash, but she didn't realize that an out-of-control driver had struck her daughter.
Grace Aguilar died in that Feb. 17 crash, which police say was caused by a drunk driver, and now her parents can only look back on a young life that had filled theirs with so much joy.
Immigration officials say 50-year-old Maximino Delgado Lagunas, who is in the United States illegally, had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit when he was arrested. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has revealed to NBC4 that Lagunas, a Mexican national, had been deported twice, once in 2001 and again in 2008.
Court records show that in 2015 he was arrested for another DUI. Immigration officials say that back then Buena Park police did not detain Lagunas for the required 48 hours for pickup by immigration officials, instead placing him on informal probation and releasing him to the streets.
Don't you feel safer?
In the five years since an unlicensed illegal immigrant ran down his son, Don Rosenberg has turned his anger and grief into a mission to answer a seemingly simple question: How many people are killed each year by drivers who don’t belong in the U.S., much less behind a wheel?
Drew Rosenberg, a 25-year-old student at Golden Gate University, was riding his motorcycle in San Francisco when Roberto Galo struck him on Nov. 16, 2010. In his frenzied effort to flee the scene, Galo ran over his victim twice. The elder Rosenberg got the news no parent should hear from San Francisco General Hospital that night, but what he would learn over the next few years only compounded his bitterness.
As many as 7,500 Americans -- 20 per day -- are killed annually by unlicensed drivers, and Rosenberg calculates that more than half are the victims of illegal immigrants
“I was stunned at what I found,” said Rosenberg, who at 63 is semi-retired from the entertainment and publishing industry. “Not only were unlicensed drivers killing people in numbers only exceeded by drunk drivers, but many times they were barely being punished and many times faced no charges at all.”
Illegal migration. Unsafe at any speed.