Fox News' Steve Doocy falsely claimed that undocumented immigrants issued driver's licenses in California “have gotten the right to vote.” But in reality, licenses issued under the California program are “specially marked” and “do not entitle [undocumented immigrants] to vote.”
California Begins Issuing Licenses To Undocumented Immigrants
New York Times: California Push To Provide Undocumented Drivers With Licenses “Receives Surge Of Applicants.” California has issued over 443,000 driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants so far in 2015. The state began issuing licenses to undocumented immigrants at the beginning of this year, joining a dozen other states with similar practices. According to The New York Times:
D.M.V. officials predict that they will issue nearly 1.5 million licenses to undocumented immigrants within three years. Of the 883,000 total licenses issued from January to the end of July, 443,000 were granted to undocumented immigrants, the officials said.
Many in the state applaud the license program, as well as other efforts by California to integrate undocumented immigrants into the economy, saying it simply reflects the demographic reality. California is home to nearly three million illegal immigrants, about 25 percent of all such immigrants in the country. More than half of the state's residents are immigrants or children of immigrants, with Latinos making up the largest ethnic group.
California is hardly alone in offering benefits to undocumented immigrants; a dozen states allow them to get driver's licenses, and more offer in-state tuition rates at public universities. But no other state's efforts come close to the breadth of those California officials have pursued. [The New York Times, 8/8/15]
Fox Reports That Undocumented Individuals With A License Can Now Vote In California
Steve Doocy: Undocumented Drivers “Have Gotten The Right To Vote” In California. During an August 10 “News By The Numbers” segment on Fox News' Fox & Friends, host Steve Doocy reported on California's program by claiming that “Since the beginning of the year, 443,000 illegals have gotten the right to vote in California.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/10/15]
California's Program Does Not Make Undocumented Immigrants Eligible To Vote
LA Times: Licenses Issued To Undocumented Drivers “Do Not Entitle Them To Vote.” In a July 20 article, the Los Angeles Times explained that licenses granted to undocumented immigrants under a new program in the state are “specially marked licenses, which do not entitle them to vote or board airplanes.” The article notes that the law was implemented “to provide licenses to immigrants so they could legally drive to work and school and to improve traffic safety by requiring them to pass the driver's license test and get insurance.” [Los Angeles Times, 7/20/15]
California Law Makes Clear That Only U.S. Citizens Are Eligible To Vote. According to California state law, one must be “a United States citizen” in order to be eligible to vote:
Who can register to vote?
To register to vote in California, you must be:
- A United States citizen,
- A resident of California,
- 18 years of age or older on Election Day,
- Not found by a court to be mentally incompetent, and
- Not in prison, on parole, serving a state prison sentence in county jail, serving a sentence for a felony pursuant to subdivision (h) of Penal Code section 1170, or on post release community supervision (for more information on the rights of people who have been incarcerated, please see the Secretary of State's Voting Rights for Californians with Criminal Convictions or Detained in Jail or Prison). [California Secretary of State, Accessed 8/10/15]