Thousands of immigrants living in America’s most populous state, California, turned up to apply for the driver’s licenses that are being provided by the authorities under a law that came into effect on Friday.
With the initiative, California has become the latest US state to expand the privilege to the illegal immigrants living in the country.
For proper handling of the crowd and smooth running of the mechanism, the Department of Motor Vehicles had also set up special processing centers at four different former businesses, including a movie theater, a large dry cleaner, a grocery store and a restaurant.
Talking about the massive turnover of the new applicants, DMV spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez said that around 11,000 people had filed their application till 3 pm local time for driving licenses under the state law.
According to the supporters of the law, an estimated 1.4 million driving age immigrant applicants are expected to turn up for getting their licenses over the next three years.
California, the country’s most populous state, is believed to be resided by nearly 2 million to 3 million unauthorized immigrants.
In 2013, Democratic Governor Jerry Brown had signed the law for issuing of driving license to the illegal migrants. Brown also received support from some Republican lawmakers, which marked a remarkable shift in the state’s policy toward immigrants living in California.
Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo, who sponsored the bill, “When he signed it, he sent a message that California is leading the way in integrating immigrants into our society, into our communities, it recognizes their hard work and their sacrifices in contributing to California society.”
California, the District of Columbia and nine other US states allow unauthorized immigrants to apply for issuing of driver’s licenses under the state law.