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Battle Over Driver Licenses for DACA Grantees Heats Up in North Carolina

January 15, 2013 (1 min read)

"Two of North Carolina’s leading civil rights organizations are asking state officials to reinstate a policy that allowed young immigrants who have been authorized to be in the United States and granted work permits under a federal program to receive North Carolina driver’s licenses.  The state Department of Motor Vehicles had until recently been granting licenses to young immigrants who had been granted a two-year work permit under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  That program blocks deportation for young immigrants who came to the U.S. before they turned 16, are not older than 31, have graduated high school or attended college, or served in the military.  The state DMV now says it will stop issuing licenses to DACA deferred action recipients until it receives a legal opinion from the state attorney general.  In a Jan. 11 letter, the American Civil Liberties of North Carolina Legal Foundation (ACLU-NCLF) and North Carolina Justice Center urged the North Carolina Attorney General’s office to advise the DMV to continue to issue driver’s licenses to deferred action recipients.  The letter points out that DACA recipients are “legally present” in the U.S. and are eligible to obtain all DMV-required documentation, including Social Security numbers and employment authorization." - North Carolina Justice Center, Jan. 14, 2013.

[Click here and here for court filings by Bo Cooper and Steve Yale-Loehr on the issues of deferred action and 'legal presence'.]