ACLU of Iowa Asks Iowa DOT to Confirm that DREAMERS will Qualify for Drivers' Licenses

Affiliate: ACLU of Iowa
October 17, 2012 11:45 am

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ACLU of Iowa Asks Iowa DOT to Confirm That “DREAMers” Will Qualify for Drivers’ Licenses and State IDs

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Des Moines, IA – The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa announced today that it has written to the Iowa Department of Transportation Director Paul Trombino, asking him to confirm that young people granted “deferred action” status by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within the Department of Homeland Security will be eligible for Iowa driver’s licenses and IDs.

“For the bright young people granted deferred action and work authorization under the new DREAMers policy, the ability to obtain drivers licenses is an important step in being able to seek employment and take part in their communities,” said ACLU of Iowa Legislative Director and Staff Attorney Rita Bettis. “The young Iowa residents considering whether to apply for ‘deferred action’ deserve to know whether the Iowa DOT considers them eligible for drivers licenses and non-operator IDs before they begin the process, especially since being able to drive is often necessary to maintaining employment.”

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” after the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors legislative proposal) will be granted “deferred action” status if they meet the following conditions:

1. They were not above the age of 30 on June 15, 2012;

2. They came to the United States under the age of 16;

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

4. 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 and were honorably discharged; and

5. They have not been convicted of a felony offense, significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, and 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,” Bettis said, “but we want the director to confirm our understanding in writing so everyone considering applying for ‘deferred action’ will know what to expect.”

A copy of the ACLU’s letter to Director Trombino can be found online at the ACLU of Iowa web site at:

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