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North Carolina to issue driver's licenses to immigrants' children

In family immigration situations, it is not unusual for children to be born in other countries and then brought into the United States while they are still young. However, when these children are undocumented immigrants, they can run into problems down the road when it comes to finding employment and enjoying the privileges the United States has to offer. However, US immigration law is changing to address these undocumented children.

Congress recently passed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. This program allows undocumented persons living in the United States who were brought in to the country as children to apply to receive a two-year work visa. An applicant can apply to have their visa renewed for another two-year period after the visa expires.

Under North Carolina state law, any person who is issued a work visa is eligible to receive a driver's license. But the DMV was unsure if they could issue drivers licenses to those who received work permits under the new federal law. As a result, the DMV held off on issuing drivers licenses to recipients of DACA work visas.

Recently, the Attorney General for North Carolina determined that recipients of work visas under DACA could receive driver's licenses. The Attorney General was faced with the task of reconciling the new federal law with the state laws. He determined that the state law does not preclude recipients of DACA work visas from enjoying driving privileges, and he directed the DMV to begin issuing driver's licenses.

For undocumented persons, this is welcome news. The ability to obtain a driver's license will make it easier for them to transport themselves to and from their jobs.

Source: News-Recorder, "Cooper: N.C. should give driver's licenses to 'Dream Act' immigrants," Michael Biesecker, Jan. 17, 2013

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