Thursday, January 17, 2013

More States to Issue Driver's Licenses to DACA Recipients

More states are allowing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to obtain driver's licenses, with license eligibility a long-time issue for undocumented immigrants.  

The North Carolina Attorney General's office just released an opinion concluding that 

"[b]ased upon our review of the historical background and legal concepts applicable to prosecutorial discretion and deferred status in the enforcement of immigration laws, we believe that individuals who present documentation demonstrating a grant of deferred action by the United States government are legally present in the United States and entitled to a drivers license of limited duration, assuming all other criteria are met." 

Letter from Grayson G. Kelley, Chief Deputy Attorney General, Jan. 17, 2013.  For analysis of the recent driver's license developments in North Carolina, click here.

Oregon also has announced that DACA recipients will be eligible for driver's licenses.  Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services will now accept deferred action work permits as proof of lawful presence in the United States." For an article about the developments in Oregon, see Andrea Castillo, The Oregonian.  Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber issued a statement on the announcement:

"The Obama Administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program authorizes qualified immigrants to work in the United States. People need the ability to travel safely to and from work, and I am pleased DMV will begin issuing driver licenses to DACA residents. It's the right decision, and it will provide certainty for working families and employers." 

Recall that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer soon after DACA's announcement stated that Arizona would not issue driver's licenses to DACA recipients.


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