NC Undecided on Driver’s Licenses for Illegals

From By Sarah Batista, January 11, 2012

North Carolina says it won’t issue driver’s licenses for young people in the country illegally until the state Attorney General rules on the issue.

But WBTV has learned, driver’s licenses are being issued and the DMV is letting people slip through the cracks.

When it comes to issuing driver’s licenses to young illegal immigrants in North Carolina, WBTV can’t get clear answers.

So Armanda Bellmas with the advocacy group, the Latin American Coalition, is giving clients this advice.

“We just said go apply, get a driver’s license, see what people do and we know of a least one person who got it,” said Bellmas.

Under President Obama’s new deferred action program, illegal immigrants under age 31 who were brought to the U.S as children could qualify for a 2-year work permit.

But whether or not they qualify for a driver’s license, is up to each state.

And North Carolina can’t seem to make a decision.

“It just seems like the next logical step in the process is to give them a driver’s license so they can work, so they can get to school and care for their family. And most importantly so they can be trained, properly tested and insured in the state of North Carolina to drive,” said Bellmas.

The North CArolina DMV says it won’t issue driver’s licenses to anyone under deferred action until a definite decision is made.

But when we ask for the long term solution, we get the same response.

“We’re waiting for an opinion from the AG’S office,” said Marge Howell, communications director with the North Carolina DMV.

When we asked how some illegal immigrants used their work permits and social security cards to get a license already, a DMV spokesperson told us she wasn’t aware.

“We don’t know that people, as you say, have fallen through the cracks, we don’t know of any. And there are no plans to address that,” said Howell.

WBTV reached out to Attorney General Roy Cooper’s office for a timeframe on a decision.

In an email, a spokesperson wrote, “Attorneys with our office are studying the legal issues involved.  I’ll be glad to keep you posted.”

Published in: on January 14, 2013 at 9:11 am  Leave a Comment  

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