October 23, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- DACA Draws Different Reactions From States Regarding Driver's Licenses
A central component of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy is to allow those who qualify to receive employment authorization. Despite the policy's objective of providing legal work status to many young immigrants, some state governors have decided to throw a wrench into the policy by denying those who qualify under DACA to apply for drivers' licenses -- anyone who commutes to work knows that a driver's license is a crucial tool in regularly getting to work. Fortunately for those seeking a deferred action, the state of Utah allows undocumented immigrants to obtain a driving privilege card.
Different States' Reactions to DACA
The purpose of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is to allow immigrants under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, and who came to the U.S. as children under the age 16 to avoid deportation and to be able to obtain work permits. Driving, without a doubt, is an essential part of being able to work, since the legal ability to work is worthless without the ability to arrive at the workplace. Only days before the DACA program went into effect, the Governor of Arizona signed an executive order directing state agencies to deny driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants set to participate in DACA. Other state governors, such as Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, also issued statements that their states would continue to deny driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants.
Frustratingly, the vast majority of states do not offer regular driver's licenses to individuals who are unable to establish a lawful presence. The lack of a driver's license not only means that many undocumented immigrants cannot lawfully drive, it also means that many undocumented immigrants cannot legally apply for jobs that require a state driver's license. In addition, it contributes to the larger issue of not having identification and related safety issues.
While California prohibits undocumented immigrants from obtaining driver's licenses, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the police chief of the LAPD and immigration activists there argue issuing driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants would help increase public safety, since licensed drivers are required to pass a driving test and to have insurance. Thankfully, the state of Utah is able to contribute both to the safety of undocumented immigrants and the ability of undocumented immigrants to regularly travel to work.
Utah's Driving Privilege Card
Individuals in Utah who are unable to establish a lawful presence in the state and who are ineligible for a U.S. Social Security Number may obtain a Utah Driving Privilege Card. The documentation requirements to apply for a DPC are:
-Foreign birth certificate or unexpired foreign passport
-An identification document or number such as a church record, voter registration card, individual tax identification number, among others
-Proof of Utah residency
-Fingerprint card and photo
-Proof of driving experience, such as evidence of driving privilege in another state or country or evidence of completion of driver training course
Unlike DACA applicants in other states, the efforts of young undocumented immigrants applying for a deferred action and who want to work in Utah will not be stymied by the lack of legal driving privilege. If you live in Utah and have a visa, naturalization or other documentation need, contact an experienced immigration attorney to resolve your issue.
Article provided by Familia America Immigration ~ Gloria Cardenas
Visit us at http://www.familiaamerica.com---
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