August 31, 2015

August 28, 2015

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. 

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About this Author

Nataliya Binshteyn, Immigration Attorney, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm

Nataliya Binshteyn focuses her practice on global business immigration matters. Her experience includes representing political asylum applicants in immigration proceedings before Asylum Officers and Immigration Judges. Nataliya has experience conducting client interviews, researching country conditions and applicable laws, and soliciting expert testimony as well as drafting affidavits and immigration documents for filing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.