ACLU of Nevada Cautiously Optimistic About Driver’s Authorization Cards

Racial Profiling Potential and REAL ID Concerns Remain

May 31, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

CARSON CITY, Nev. – With the signing of SB 303, Nevada will begin issuing Driver Authorization Cards by the end of the year to residents without documentation of federal immigration status. The ACLU of Nevada supports the issuance of Driver’s Authorization Cards, but still share the concerns of many of the bills advocates with the creation of a two-tiered system, and would have preferred that the standard driver’s license be issued to all drivers in Nevada.

“By creating a separate, clearly different piece of identification, the authorization card exposes drivers who have them to increased scrutiny and the potential for racial profiling,” said Tod Story, executive director of the ACLU of Nevada. “We hope that the Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Public Safety will work with advocates in Nevada to ensure that these cards will not be used for any purpose other than identifying a driver’s privilege to be on our roads.”

During the legislative process, the ACLU of Nevada opposed the REAL ID portions of the bill as unnecessary.  “We are still seriously concerned with the REAL ID provisions in the bill, because we do not believe they are necessary, but we support the ability of all Nevadans, regardless of immigration status, to drive freely and safely on our state's roads, said Vanessa Spinazola, Legislative and Advocacy Director of the ACLU of Nevada. “We will be closely monitoring the implementing regulations to ensure that the minimal number of distinguishing characteristics are placed on the driver's authorization card.”

“The ACLU of Nevada worked with a dedicated team of advocates to pass this bill and we look forward to continued work with our coalition partners, SEIU, PLAN, and Mi Familia Vota to ensure its proper implementation,” added Story.

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