Friday, January 18, 2013

Looks like DREAMers will be (legal!) drivers

This afternoon, the federal government updated its guidance page for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) page. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services under the Obama Administration has now confirmed that recipients of deferred action are authorized to be in the United States. They are now, therefore considered to be “lawfully present” under federal immigration laws. This counteracts the arguments from those opposed to allowing them to receive drivers licenses.
DREAMERS may be drivers in all states now.
Acting under the assumption that DACA recipients aren't “lawfully present” under federal law, four states have refused to issue driver’s licenses to DACA recipients.These states are Arizona, Iowa, Michigan, and Nebraska. The DACA beneficiaries are eligible for work permits under the federal order. Lacking access to transportation, however, has been a curtailment that has handicapped them.

This new clarification from the federal government will give DREAMers a tool with which they can contend those states' rulings.

In a separate release, the administration also updated statistics on the DACA program. As of Thursday, USCIS had received 407,899 requests for deferred action (an average of 80,000 per month since the program began). Of these, 394,533 had been accepted and 154,404 approved.

Interestingly, USCIS received an average of less than 1,500 requests per day in January, down from a high of more than 5,700 per day in October soon after the program began accepting applications. The majority of DACA recipients continue to hail from Mexico and reside in California.

Source: American Immigration Council "Immigration Impact"


Barbara Mcpherson said...

Tiny little steps towards justice, but in the right direction.repbum

immigratingtousa said...

That's great news!President Obama has ordered ICE to stop deportation of many undocumented immigrants under the prosecutorial discretion program. It makes sense to grant them a path to legal status and U.S. citizenship.

Billie Greenwood said...

Thanks for chiming in on this post. It is good news, although there will still be a fight ahead. Some meanies won't "give" the DREAMers anything, making them fight for every right they already have!

richie said...

This is a big deal! The lack of a driving license often starts a long spiral downward.

richie said...

This is a big deal!

Billie Greenwood said...

I'm really happy about it, too, richie. It will make a big, positive difference in many lives.