Undocumented immigrants who are eligible to benefit from President Obama’s deferred deportation program and get a U.S work permit may also be eligible to get a driver’s license by presenting their work permits at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The facility of such a possibility for the undocumented immigrants has been granted to all the states to choose and allow it, or allow any other public benefit instead. The facility will benefit many illegal immigrants, particularly in the state of California which is famous for its highways and low public transportation facilities. It will also allow the states to have a separate index of beneficiaries of the deferred deportation program.
The U.S immigration authorities and the U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have allowed all the states to choose from allowing the beneficiaries of the deferred deportation program to either get a driver’s license or to avail other state benefits. Numerous states including Oregon and Georgia, throughout the country have opted for the first option. Whereas states like Arizona and Mississippi have decided to deny them any benefits at all.
The State of California is home to approximately 450,000 eligible illegal immigrants for the program, the largest number of potential applicants in the United States. The state administration in California has decided to allow these young illegal immigrants to obtain drivers license. For this purpose, a bill has been approved by the California Legislators. The bill will allow these illegal immigrants to use their U.S work permits as evidence of legal residence in the country at the DMV at the time of applying for a driver’s license. Such facility, in a state where it is next to impossible to live without having your own transportation, would be a blessing for young undocumented immigrants of California.
Illegal immigrants in California have relied on different relatives and friends for transportation as the state does not allow issuance of a driver’s license to them. Most of them have to drive cars without license due lack of any other transportation alternatives. This endangers their stay in the country for if they are caught even for a minor traffic violation, they might face deportation.
The facility will also enhance employment and academic opportunities for local illegal immigrants, as they would be able to join offices or educational institutions of their choice, regardless of the distance factor, that was the only obstacle before such availability. In this way, these young undocumented immigrants will be able to increase the scope of their careers ensuring better prospects in the future.
But critics of the program beg to differ in this respect also. They claim that such a facility of granting driver’s license to these illegal immigrants will only prove as a reward for them of committing the immigration offense that they are guilty of. Spokesman from the Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Bob Dane, said that the license would enable them to avail most of the other benefits as well like access to bank account and other credit facilities. This, according to Dane, means that the government will be accommodating criminals guilty of immigration offenses.
On every turn where a benefit will be available for any illegal immigrant under any law, both the advocates of the illegal immigrants and those against them will find themselves face to face on a collision course. The rate at which this conflict is increasing is depicting a never ending battle between these two groups, at least not in the near future.