Thousands apply for licenses under DACA policy

DrivingThe Georgia Department of Driver Services says that since the August of 2012, when the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by President Barack Obama became law, almost 10,882 immigrants that had been granted status have put in an application for driver’s licenses in the state.

The program was created in order to prevent the deportation of young immigrants who arrived in the United States when they were just children.  The young people in question are given the chance to remain in the US for two years and to earn a work permit.  US Citizenship and Immigration Services states that by the close of 2012 over 16,000 of Georgia’s young immigrants had been given official approval for deferred status.

While undocumented immigrants are not allowed to receive a driver’s license in the state, Georgia’s Attorney General announced that individuals could earn a driver’s license if they have received deferred status.  However, some obstacles remain, with a Republican Senator having proposed a ban on driver’s licenses for immigrants with deferred status that has not yet been voted on by the Senate, and another wanting it to be made mandatory for the driver’s license exam to be taken in English.

Federal immigration authorities are also able to use their discretion to grant undocumented immigrants deferred action status, meaning that those who qualified two years ago, back in 2012, are not alone in being eligible for the program.  More people in Georgia may, therefore, be putting in their driver’s license applications in the future.