SAN FRANCISCO - Gov. Jerry Brown, who spoke against providing driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants during his run for governor in 2010, said today that he supports the idea now because of "foot-dragging" in Congress on an immigration overhaul.
"The foot-dragging on the part of Congress and not creating immigration reform," the Democratic governor said when asked at an event in San Francisco what changed his mind. "I said at the time the answer is immigration reform, and that's true, but because Congress has been so slow, I think they need a good push, and that's what I think this driver's license bill does. It says California recognizes these human beings are very important to our communities, to our economy and hopefully the people in Washington will get the message."
Brown did call for immigration changes during the 2010 campaign, when he called driver's license legislation a "little piecemeal" solution that "sends the wrong signal."
In recent weeks, Brown negotiated amendments to a driver's license bill authored by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, and he signaled Thursday he will sign it.
PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to reporters at an event in San Francisco on Sept. 13, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders