The ACLU of Iowa says they will work to overturn the Department of Transportation’s recent decision to deny drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants
The DOT announced Thursday it will not issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants allowed to stay in the U.S. under the President’s Deferred Action Plan.
They made their decision after reviewing the Obama administration’s ruling and Iowa state laws concerning illegal immigration.
The DOT says despite what the Federal Government says, Iowa laws don’t allow them to give state issued ID’s to illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and have no criminal record.
The ACLU’s immigration advocates say the ruling isn’t fair. “These individuals came here before the age of 16. Mexico is not their country, the United States in their country. They were educated in this country, they take pride in this country, and many of them didn’t even know they were undocumented until they were of this age,” said Michael Woods.
Advocates say the DOT’s decision makes it more difficult to help immigrants living under the Deferred Action Policy.
They also believe granting everyone licenses and ID’s might help everyone in the long run.
“We believe that having a driver license is actually positive for all of society because all of the sudden, insurance rates will go down and we know everyone that is on the roads,” Woods said.
Iowa is not the only state to deny ID’s to illegal immigrants. In August, Nebraska’s governor said his state would continue to deny licenses, welfare benefits, and other public assistance, unless required by state law.