This week, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has stated that Deferred Action recipients will be granted driver’s licenses in his state.
Deferred Action, DACA, does not grant legal status, but it does grant relief for the 1.7 million of young undocumented immigrants in the United States who would be eligible. Approved applicants receive a two-year authorization to live and work in the country without having to worry about being deported. If the state approves it, applicants can also apply for a driver’s license and drive on the roads lawfully.
To be eligible for DACA, an applicant must have arrived to the U.S. before his or her 16 and was younger than 31 years old as of June 15, 2012. As most of their peers with whom they grew up with prepare to get their driver’s licenses, undocumented youth have to face the difficulty of not being allowed to drive. Some opt for driving without a license, which unfortunately makes the roads unsafe for all drivers.
In Connecticut, it is estimated that there will be 4,000 or 5,000 young undocumented people eligible for their driver’s license through Deferred Action.
There are four states that have decided to not issue driver’s licenses to DACA recipients: Arizona, Michigan, Nebraska and Iowa. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed lawsuits against Arizona and Michigan.