Iowa joins in denying driving right to immigrants in federal program

December 28, 2012

Iowa will not issue driver’s licenses to young immigrants who entered the country illegally but are now eligible to work in the United States under a federal program, state officials said Thursday.

President Barack Obama announced a policy change in June that allows some illegal immigrants to apply for temporary work permits if they were brought into the country as children. The “deferred action” program lets them seek a renewable two-year reprieve from deportation if they meet age, residency and education requirements.

But the Iowa Department of Transportation said state law does not allow it to issue driver’s licenses or identification cards to people who are in the country illegally.

State lawyers concluded that the federal program does not extend lawful status to the immigrants and does not offer them a pathway to citizenship, said Paul Trombino III, director of the Iowa Department of Transportation.

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Source: Omaha World Herald-AP

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