States Remain Divided on Issue of Driver's Licenses for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Beneficiaries
In the latest example of state authorities grappling with the effects of the Obama administration’s deferred action program, Iowa has announced that it will not issue driver’s licenses or ID cards to DACA beneficiaries after state attorneys reviewing the program concluded that it does not extend lawful status to undocumented immigrants. The decision was reached after joint consultation between the state’s Department of Transportation, which has already issued documents that will be made retroactively void, and the governor’s office.
On the other end of the spectrum, Connecticut will grant driver’s licenses and ID cards to eligible DACA beneficiaries according to a declaration publicized at a local rally attended by numerous immigrants on January 6. The state’s authority to unilaterally implement such a measure was justified by an official in the governor’s office as “a matter of policy” that is consistent with federal law.