“This bill is premature and could undermine national security efforts to identify individuals who pose enormous risk to the safety of Californians,” Schwarzenegger said in a written statement explaining his veto. “I have repeatedly stated that the ability to verify documents used to establish an identity must include a way to determine whether an individual is who he or she purports to be and must include a criminal background check.” During the recall campaign and in the early part of his term, Schwarzenegger successfully sought a repeal of a law granting licenses to illegal immigrants. However, he said he would support such a measure if it had more provisions to ensure the security of the document, such as conducting a background check on undocumented immigrants who applied for a California license. He also wanted to establish a separate license with a different physical appearance for illegal immigrants. Cedillo tried to incorporate the governor’s requirements into the latest version of a bill he has been working on for years. He and other supporters argued that the bill was necessary to ensure that an estimated 2 million illegal immigrants driving in California are tested, licensed and insured, for the safety of other drivers. Cedillo pitched his bill as the state’s proposed method of implementing the federal Real ID Act, a new law that establishes a national system of driver’s licenses. The act does not allow the national license to be granted to undocumented immigrants, but does allow states to establish a separate license document for that purpose. Conservative groups were happy with the governor’s action, but worried that the issue was unresolved. “I have no doubt that Gil Cedillo will be back next year to try again,” said Mike Spence, president of the California Republican Assembly, a conservative political group. “The argument is they’re already breaking several other laws so we should go ahead and reward them by allowing them to do this one thing legally? That argument flies in the face of enforcing our immigration laws and encourages illegal aliens to come here.” — Harrison Sheppard can be reached at (916) 446-6723, or by e-mail at [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 “He’s being extremely political,” said Nativo Lopez, president of the Mexican American Political Association. “He’s dissipated all of his political capital after the recall election. His popularity is significantly down among Latinos. “This requires him to shore up his political base — that’s the base that is most vociferously opposed to driver’s licenses.” Cedillo said one legal option could be looking at whether the state will be in violation of the Real ID Act, a new federal law that establishes a national system of driver licenses. Cedillo had argued that his bill was written to implement the federal law in California. But Schwarzenegger said the state needs to wait for the federal government to write regulations based on the new law before implementing it here. He said the state could wind up spending millions of dollars to implement the bill only to see it conflict with federal regulations. The governor also said the bill lacked sufficient security measures to ensure undocumented immigrants who apply for licenses are who they say they are. SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill Friday that would have granted driver licenses to illegal immigrants in California –a move that had been expected but still disappointed Latino activists who have been working on the issue for years. Supporters of the bill said they will likely reintroduce it in the next legislative session and are exploring whether they have any legal options. “We will not be discouraged nor deterred,” said Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, author of the bill. Supporters said they believe Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill, at least in part, to please his conservative base as he faces plunging popularity among voters and heads into tough special-election and re-election battles.