Today the federal government issued new guidance that should end the latest form of anti-immigrant discrimination at the state level: the decision by certain states to deny driver's licenses to young immigrants who were brought to the country as children—or "DREAMers."
This past June, President Obama announced a new federal program—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or "DACA")—that would protect DREAMers from deportation and grant them work permits for a renewable two-year basis. With DACA, the federal government chose to recognize the contributions that talented and hard-working young immigrants make to our country and to help them achieve their educational and career goals. But since the President's announcement, a minority of states—Arizona, Michigan, Nebraska, and, recently, Iowa have—chosen to undermine the DACA program by denying DACA recipients driver's licenses. …
New guidance from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services puts this debate to rest. As the FAQs explain:
"An individual who has received deferred action is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to be present in the United States, and is therefore considered by DHS to be lawfully present during the period deferred action is in effect."