Iowa ACLU urges Department of Transportation To Clarify Stance on Deferred Action

Iowa’s American Civil Liberties Union is asking Paul Trombino, director of the Iowa Department of Transportation, to decide whether young immigrants granted with deferred action status will be able to obtain state IDs and driver’s licenses.

On October 17, 2012, Rita Bettis, ACLU of Iowa’s attorney, wrote a letter to Trombino outlining the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services‘ deferred action for childhood arrivals program and explained how the issue relates to the REAL ID act and state law amendments that will take effect early next year.

“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,” Bettis explained. “We have looked at the law, and we believe that those with approved ‘deferred action’ status are eligible, but we want the director to confirm our understanding in writing so everyone considering applying for ‘deferred action’ will know what to expect.”

The REAL ID Act requires states to verify an applicant’s legal status in the United States before he or she can get a personal ID card or driver’s license. The ACLU believes that deferred action status should allow DREAMers to be eligible for temporary licenses under the REAL ID requirements.

After being granted deferred action and work authorization under the DREAMers policy, the ACLU believes that the ability to obtain drivers license is crucial in being able to join the community and look for employment.

This article is brought to you by Immigration Direct, a trusted resource for matters related to the government’s deferred action program. Take the Free Deferred Action Eligibility Quiz online today.