From the good folks at the ACLU of North Carolina:
RALEIGH –A young immigrant who meets all requirements for a North Carolina driver’s license but has been denied a learner’s permit while officials reconsider the state’s policy will deliver a petition with more than 22,000 signatures to the office of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory today that urges the governor to support issuing licenses to qualified immigrants who want to drive safely and legally in the state.
More than three weeks after the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office said that young immigrants who qualify under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are “lawfully present” and should be granted driver’s licenses, North Carolina officials have still not announced a decision about the state’s policy.
WHAT: A young immigrant denied a learner’s permit for a North Carolina driver’s license will deliver a petition with more than 22,000 signatures to Gov. Pat McCrory, urging him to reinstate licenses for qualified young immigrants receiving work permits under federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Press availability to follow.
WHO: Diana Gonzalez, a 17-year-old high school senior from Burlington, North Carolina, who was born in Mexico and brought to the United States when she was 2 years old. Earlier this year, Gonzalez was denied a learner’s permit for a North Carolina driver’s license even though she meets all stated qualifications.
WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at 4:15 p.m.
HERE: 116 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC, 27603
On Jan. 17, the North Carolina Attorney General issued a legal opinion stating that young immigrants who are “lawfully present” in the United States and have been granted work permits under DACA meet all requirements for North Carolina driver’s licenses and should therefore be issued licenses by the state DMV. The federal Department of Homeland Security has also clarified that DACA recipients are legally present in the United States. North Carolina suspended issuing driver’s licenses to DACA recipients in early January while awaiting an opinion from Attorney General Roy Cooper.
The federal DACA program blocks deportation for young immigrants who came to the U.S. before they turned 16, are not older than 31, have graduated high school or attended college, or served in the military. 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.