Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

DACA, Driving and Daily Life

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"As the number of unauthorized immigrants granted benefits under the Obama administration's recent deferred action program reaches a critical mass, it has rekindled debate over an enduring contentious issue — the role that immigration status should play in the granting of driver’s licenses. [*]

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative allows qualified unauthorized immigrants brought to the United States as children to apply for work authorization and protection against deportation. This federal action has had an immediate ripple effect on policy areas which are the province of state authority — for example the granting of driver’s licenses or college tuition at in-state rates — prompting divergent outcomes.

As the DACA initiative took effect on August 15, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer issued an executive order applying specifically to DACA recipients, declaring them ineligible to apply for driver's licenses