ACLU, Justice Center Ask N.C. to reinstate licenses for immigrants with work permits

The American Civil Liberties of North Carolina Legal Foundation (ACLU-NCLF) and North Carolina Justice Center are urging the North Carolina Attorney General’s office to advise the DMV to continue to issue driver’s licenses to young immigrants who have been granted two-year work permits.

The state Division of Motor Vehicles recently decided to stop issuing licenses to DACA deferred action recipients until it receives a legal opinion from the state attorney general.  dmv-DACA

Attorneys for the ACLU-NCLF and the N.C. Justice Center point out that DACA recipients are “legally present” in the U.S. and are eligible to obtain all DMV-required documentation, including Social Security numbers and employment authorization.

“North Carolina should not be going down the same path as Arizona where these young immigrants are concerned,” said Kate Woomer-Deters, a managing attorney with the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project – North Carolina at the North Carolina Justice Center. “These immigrants live and work legally in this country, they meet all the requirements for a North Carolina driver’s license, and there is no legal or practical justification to deny them licenses.”

“North Carolina’s denial of driver’s licenses to people who meet all DMV requirements raises serious constitutional concerns,” said Raul Pinto, ACLU-NCLF staff attorney. “We hope officials do the right thing and continue to grant licenses to all drivers who qualify. It makes no sense to say that people authorized to live and work in the United States should not be allowed to drive.”

To read the January 11th letter the ACLU-NCLF and the Justice Center sent to the North Carolina Attorney General’s office, click here.

(N.C. Policy Watch is a project housed under the N.C. Justice Center, an anti-poverty statewide advocacy group.)

One Comment

  1. Frank Burns

    January 14, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Be careful! If we start using photo IDs to show citizenship, we better not issue drivers licenses to non citizens.