ACLU asks DMV if it will confirm IDs for DREAMers

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia announced today that it has written to the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, Richard Holcomb, asking him to confirm that young people granted “deferred action” status by Immigration Customs Enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security will be eligible for Virginia driver’s licenses and IDs.

“One of the key reasons that some young people say they plan to apply for ‘deferred action’ status is their belief that this will allow them to get their driver’s license – a key rite of passage for most young Americans,” said Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia.  

“Virginia residents considering whether to apply for ‘deferred action’ deserve to know whether DMV considers them eligible for licenses and IDs before they step out of the shadows and make themselves known to federal immigration enforcement officials.”

The President and the Secretary of Homeland Security announced in June that certain young adults who came to the United States as children and are currently in the United States without authority (often referred to as “DREAMers”) will be granted “deferred action” status if they meet the following conditions:

They were not above the age of thirty on June 15, 2012;

They came to the United States under the age of sixteen;

They continuously resided (lived) in the United States for at least five years before June 15, 2012, and you were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012;

They are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or Coast Guard who was honorably discharged; and

They have not been convicted of a felony offense, significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, and you do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

“We have looked at the law, and we believe that those with approved ‘deferred action’ status are eligible,” Gastañaga said, “but we want the Commissioner to confirm our understanding in writing so everyone considering applying for ‘deferred action’ will know what to expect.”


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