Even prior to a comprehensive immigration reform, States are lining up to announce new policies for the issuance of driver’s licenses for successful DACA applicants. Officialy, there are twelve states and more expected shortly, that have announced that all young arrivals under the Deferred Action for Young Arrival (DACA) program will be issued a driver’s license. In response to the defeat of the DREAM Act in last years congress, DACA is President Obama’s temporarily solution to assist the many hundreds of thousand of children that arrived in the U.S. prior to the age of 16, graduated High School and have a clean record, to be granted legal status , which includes a work authorization, social security number and travel permission.
States such as Michigan and Illinois, are setting up the process to accept the se new drivers into the million of authorized drivers in their state’s. North Carolina’s Division of Motor Vehicles will issue licenses to immigrants who receive deferred action through DACA. These licenses will be restricted however, by the inclusion of a pink header and the words “NO LAWFUL STATUS” and “LIMITED TERM” written on the front. A group of Democratic lawmakers in North Carolina, believe that this type of limited license is improper and should introduced a bill to grant qualifying illegal immigrants driver licenses that look the same as those issued to everyone else. The Division of Motor Vehicles is set to begin issuing the pink licenses March 25. A competing GOP-backed bill would delay the licenses from going out to at least June.
Republican Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico supports a policy to provide temporary licenses for young undocumented immigrants who benefit from DACA but wants to stop granting licenses to undocumented immigrants. Immigrant advocates in the state say the proposal would discriminate against young immigrants with temporary legal status. Even more encouraging for the illegal community in Maryland, lawmakers are pushing a bill to end the state’s ban on providing licenses to undocumented immigrants. “If you live in Maryland you should be able to obtain a driver’s license,” said Democratic State Senator Vincent Ramirez.