By The Numbers
- 523,000: Number of written exams and road tests administered by the DMV to illegal aliens from Jan. 2 to Feb. 6.
- 76,000: Driver's licenses issued during that period.
The immigrants themselves need little convincing. Already, they're swelling crowds at DMV offices across California.
A projected 1.4 million illegal immigrants are expected to get driver's licenses over the next three years. From Jan. 2 to Feb. 6, the DMV handed out more than 76,000.
Many illegal immigrants say they believe driving privileges will result in better jobs, better schools for their kids and a less stressful lifestyle. So despite this week's legal setback, the licensing movement continues -- in overdrive.
"I hope I pass," said Brenda Torres, a 25-year-old mother of two who had driven 33 predawn miles one recent morning from San Leandro to be the first in the appointment line outside the new East San Jose office, one of four centers designed to accommodate the flood of immigrants.
Following a show of documents, an eye test, a thumbprint and photographs -- a touch-screen exam machine congratulated her in Spanish.(Chicoer.com)