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Hunter Announces Bill Punishing States That Give Driver’s Licenses To Undocumented Immigrants

U.S. Congressman Duncan Hunter announced draft legislation Wednesday to punish states—including California—if they issue driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.

A California bill that would give drivers licenses to some undocumented immigrants awaits Governor Jerry Brown’s signature or veto. But Congressman Duncan Hunter isn’t very happy with that idea.

The California legislature recently passed a bill that would give licenses to immigrants who meet the requirements of President Barack Obama's new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

To be eligible for that federal program, immigrants must prove they arrived in the United States before they turned 16, are 30 or younger, have been living in the country at least five years and are in school or graduated or served in the military. They cannot have been convicted of certain crimes or otherwise pose a safety threat.

In California, that could be about 400,000 people.

Hunter’s legislation would take away federal funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, program to states like California that he says would be breaking the law.

California received more than $23 million this year from the COPS program to hire or retain 117 police officers.

Hunter was not available for an interview, but said in a pre-written statement that California "is a leader in sanctuary policies that stand in direct violation of the law.”

"The only way California will begin abiding by the law—whether on this or any other immigration-related issue—is if there are direct consequences for implementing and defending sanctuary policies,” he said.

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