ACLU of Iowa News

ACLU of Iowa Asks Iowa DOT to Confirm That “DREAMers” Will Qualify for Drivers’ Licenses and State IDs

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa announced today (Friday, October 17)  that it has
written to the Iowa Department of Transportation Director Paul Trombino, asking him to
confirm that young people granted “deferred action” status by U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services (USCIS) within the Department of Homeland Security will be eligible for
Iowa driver’s licenses and IDs.

“For the bright young people granted deferred action and work authorization under the new
DREAMers policy, the ability to obtain drivers licenses is an important step in being able to seek
employment and take part in their communities,” said ACLU of Iowa Legislative Director and
Staff Attorney Rita Bettis. “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.”

The President and the Secretary of Homeland Security announced in June that certain young
adults who came to the United States as children and are currently in the United States without
authority (often referred to as “DREAMers” after the Development, Relief, and Education for
Alien Minors legislative proposal) will be granted “deferred action” status if they meet the
following conditions:

1. They were not above the age of 30 on June 15, 2012;
2. They came to the United States under the age of 16;
3. They continuously resided (lived) in the United States for at least five years before June
15, 2012, and were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
4. They are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general
education development (GED) certificate, or are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or
Coast Guard and were honorably discharged; and
5. They have not been convicted of a felony offense, significant misdemeanor offense,
multiple misdemeanor offenses, and not otherwise pose a threat to national security or
public safety

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

Click here to see the letter.

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