N.C. Attorney General to DMV: Young immigrants qualify for licenses

dmv-DACAThe North Carolina Attorney General’s Office informed the Division of Motor Vehicles Thursday that immigrants who have been granted work permits under the federal program known as DACA meet all requirements for North Carolina driver’s licenses, and should therefore be issued licenses by the DMV.

Recently the DMV stopped granting licenses to young immigrants who had been granted the two-year work permits under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, seeking a legal opinion from the state attorney general.

In a three-page letter, Chief Deputy Attorney General Grayson Kelly wrote DACA recipients are “lawfully present” in the United States and meet all the requirements for receiving licenses:






The January 17th opinion won quick praise from the NC Justice Center and the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation.

“We’re pleased that the Attorney General’s office has chosen to follow the law,” said Kate Woomer-Deters, an attorney with the NC Justice Center’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “Allowing young immigrants access to driver’s licenses is the right thing to do, and we commend the state for coming to that conclusion.”

“In light of this clear opinion, the DMV should do the right thing and reinstate its policy of granting licenses to all qualified drivers who have received deferred action,” said Raul Pinto, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation. “There is no reason – legal or otherwise – why the DMV should prevent immigrants authorized to live and work in the United States from driving and further contributing to our state and society.”

To read the full letter from the Attorney General’s office, click here.


  1. William L. Bingham

    January 21, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    For the new Governor of NC, Mr. Pat McCrory, and the Transportation Secretary, Mr. Tony Tata, to have announced that that new immigrants who are legally here under DACA, would not be able to receive NC Drivers Licenses would appear to be ‘mean spirited’. It would be hard to show how that action could benefit the State of North Carolina. These people need to be able to drive an automobile in order to pursue work opportunities or to educate themselves toward increased productivity and contribution to the general economy of the State of NC.

    Now under this new directive of the Attorney General of NC, it is proper that they rescind their refusal to allow these new immigrants the privilege of operating a motor vehicle in NC. The process of gaining the license to drive also helps to ensure the safety of our roadways.


  2. Dave Francis

    January 21, 2013 at 10:15 pm


    Hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of people are avidly attentive to every word that springs from the lips of President Barack Obama on the immigration debate. They wait patiently throughout Mexico, South America, Europe, The Caribbean Islands, China and from one horizon to the other, for this administration and the GOP minority party to vote on a new immigration policy. It could easily be Déjà-Vu all over again, a simulation of the 1986 Ron Reagan, Simpson-Mazzoli Immigration Reform and Control Act. (IRCA) when the estimated interior 3 million illegal aliens, escalated into somewhere around 6 million? The borders were suddenly inundated with people, and additionally a sudden surge in airline flights with parties of families come into America under false pretenses of just visiting. The outcome was huge amounts of deceptive papers that indicated the people had been living here illegally for years, but could now apply for citizenship. That in itself was one issue, but the promise of the deceased Ted Kennedy and the rest of the bunch that such laws as holding businesses liable for hiring illegal aliens was never fully enforced, or other restrictions. Please—if nothing else, assure the American people that every illegal alien is fully processed; no short cuts and proof positive that they were here before the enactment of a new law. Not the carnival of errors as before, letting millions more to slip past immigration safeguards. Even thirty years ago the laws were ignored as the business community held thrall over the political parties, with donations to campaign contributions, travel and other favors.


    So here we stand today with the potential of another blanket amnesty, and very little hindrance to the people who are going to cross deserts, or the airports as fake tourists. Most reports say that more one way arrivals enter America this way as visa overstays, then those who sweep through either the Northern or Southern border with the intention to squat here? Taxpayers who pay the bills, for illegal aliens can expect illegal entries to rise if Obama collects enough votes to pass another amnesty. My thought it is so unfair to people who enter this country through proper channels; many hundreds of thousands sitting and waiting many years for a visa. The 19th century immigrants came here expecting nothing but hard work, but the illegal immigrant’s today press politicians for civil rights, entitlements and a pass to citizenship. By any other name these are criminals, who are stealing legally money from citizens and legal residents.

    Right now the only chance we have to place legal obstacles in the way of illegal aliens, and insist that most of the Democrats and some Republicans (Not TEA PARTY lawmakers) that federal and state politicians serve the general public by honoring their oaths to protect us from enemies–Domestic and Foreign–by enacting the “LEGAL WORKFORCE BILL., Its purpose is to detect illegal working aliens and replacing them with some of the 24 million Americans remaining jobless or using temporary work, as part of the (LWB) is E-verify that is being updated constantly and soon will have access to Drivers Licenses Agencies to cross-reference and authenticate workers. The most contentious law that must be applied is an amendment to the 14th Amendment, which existed for the end of slavery, to uphold citizenship for future black descendants. However it has been perverted from its original intent, giving citizenship to children smuggled into the United States. A simple, easy and correct amendment would stop this immigration travesty, by only allowing the children of parents, who already has citizenship.

    Involved is hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayers money swallowed up by foreign nationals, once the baby holds an American birth certificate and hence a passport. It becomes a fulcrum for the illegal Mother to stay here, to accumulate citizenship welfare for the baby, followed by the rest of the family circle. Mexico has closed this loophole and most European countries, while Canada and the United States still have a guarantee for citizenship for the pregnant unconcealed or those smuggled through our porous borders. For anybody who comes to America should be a criminal felony and not a civil slap on the wrist. ONLY THE RAISED VOICES OF THE TEA PARTY AND THE LEGAL POPULATION OF THE U.S. CAN ULTIMATELY GET THESE PARAMOUNT LAWS PASSED AND SAVING THE DESPICABLE COSTS EXTRACTED FROM US EVERY APRIL?

    The agriculture industry obviously needs Guest Workers, but it must be a uniform program that the farmers pay all those benefits, including a fair wage, not stick the unsuspecting public with the bill. That at the end of their contract, the Agjob labor must leave and then apply for a new job. I doubt anybody will disagree that those persons with exemplary professional skills, such as the STEM workers should be expedited through the system, as businesses are forever calling out for these people. STEM workers should be welcome, but with a minimum quota and not the apparent million and a quarter that annually enters this nation? Our government should enforce the laws to halt the desperate from other countries, as these people are not our problem, but our own homeless, and destitute are, especially the elderly who seem to be completely neglected.

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