DRIVERS LICENSE: Deferred Status Non-Citizens Eligible

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The Iowa Department of Transportation says it will now issue driver’s licenses or IDs to non-citizens who qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status.

In June, President Obama’s administration announced it wouldn’t seek deportation of certain young people who were brought to the U.S. as children, didn’t present a risk to national security or public safety, and met several other key criteria.

In December, the Iowa DOT said it wouldn’t issue driver’s licenses or IDs to those living in Iowa that claimed deferred action status because Iowa’s law wouldn’t allow it.

Wednesday, the Iowa DOT changed its mind. Citing new clarification of the guidelines by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the U.S. Department of Homeland security, the DOT said those granted deferred status do meet the qualifications to be issued a driver’s license or ID.

According to the new definition of persons granted deferred action, they are “authorized by the Department of Homeland Security to be present in the United States and considered to be lawfully present during their deferred action.”

The DOT had originally said it couldn’t issue the licenses because Iowa law said they could only be issued to foreign nationals authorized to be in the U.S.