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Some illegal immigrants can get driver's license

Photo by Jason Braverman

Photo by Jason Braverman

ATLANTA -- Illegal immigrants who are granted permission to stay in the country under an Obama administration policy announced in June will be eligible for driver's licenses in Georgia, the state's attorney general wrote in a letter to the governor.

"While I do not agree with the actions of the President in issuing the directive, it has been implemented by the Department of Homeland Security, USCIS, and state law recognizes the approval of deferred action status as a basis for issuing a temporary driver's license," Attorney General Sam Olens, a Republican, wrote in a letter obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

Olens said illegal immigrants with this special status would not, however, be eligible for a state identification card. He says such cards are considered public benefits which are not available to illegal immigrants.

Under the new policy -- which was announced in June and took effect last week -- eligible immigrants must have arrived in the U.S. before their 16th birthday, are 30 or younger, have been living here at least five years, are in school or graduated or served in the military. They also must not have a criminal record or otherwise pose a safety threat. They can apply to stay in the country and be granted a work permit for two years, but they would not be granted citizenship.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed an executive order Aug. 15, the day the new policy took effect, telling state agencies not to give driver's licenses or other benefits to illegal immigrants who obtain work authorizations under the deferred status.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said earlier this month that each state could determine whether to issue driver's licenses or extend benefits such as in-state tuition to immigrants who are granted deferred status.

A Georgia Department of Driver Services spokeswoman said last week that Georgia law considers those with deferred action status eligible for driver's licenses and added that the agency would issue them unless it got other instructions. Deal last week asked Olens for guidance on the matter.

The young illegal immigrants who qualify for the new program are not the only illegal immigrants eligible for deferred action on their cases. Immigration judges can also grant deferred action status at their discretion.

Comments

notblind 1 year, 8 months ago

Eventually the states are going to have to stand up to Washington. Part of the reason that Washington is so out of touch is that the states have not pushed back when it was appropriate. The federal government has had a policy of encouraging illegal aliens for the past 50 years. How stupid is it to willing encourage a divisive element to enter this country ?

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CD 1 year, 8 months ago

If this is allowed under Georgia law, then change the law. Surely with the wonderful Republican majority and our wonderful governor, this should be doable.

Or is it better to cry "Washington made me do it" in hopes to deflect the REAL cause of the issue, Georgia law and those in the majority under the gold dome?

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kevin 1 year, 8 months ago

"Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed an executive order Aug. 15, the day the new policy took effect, telling state agencies not to give driver's licenses or other benefits to illegal immigrants who obtain work authorizations under the deferred status."

"The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said earlier this month that each state could determine whether to issue driver's licenses or extend benefits such as in-state tuition to immigrants who are granted deferred status"

Then Mr. Olens, why are you allowing Ga to give them a driver licenses if each state has a choice? A driver;s license is what we show to VOTE. You mean they will get to vote also?

If we don't have to give them a license and you do, your head will be next to roll.

Can you explain this to the Ga population?

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Mack711 1 year, 8 months ago

What part of 'illegal' does the government not understand. Anyone who is illegal does not have any rights for anything that a LEGAL citizen is entitled to. Stop this now and do not give the illegals any foot hold to any benefit that legal citizens have worked for.Try this in another other country and see what happens.

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kevin 1 year, 8 months ago

remember this when Olens is up for re-election. Never re-elect. He was the loudest when he ran for office to stop the health care bill. Don't see any progress on this topic. Just cheap talk to sell to voters.

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news2me 1 year, 8 months ago

"They can apply to stay in the country and be granted a work permit for two years, but they would not be granted citizenship."

I question how accurate the information the government is collecting on these Illegal Aliens and how they plan to keep track of them. These are the very people that have not done the right things and have been taught to lie and cheat, now we expect them to be honest and accurate with their applications? They are getting nothing in retun. Hopefully this is information that can be used against them in the near future.

Gov. Deal needs to act like Brewer. It is going to take Romney a long time to clean up Obama's mess ...

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notblind 1 year, 8 months ago

The states should show some real backbone and start requiring proof of legal residence before a child can enroll in public schools. The feds can't arrest thousands of county and state school system officials.

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Braveshopr 1 year, 8 months ago

You're representatives, including Deal, don't care a hoot what any of you think, or what YOU think is right or wrong.

Follow the money.

While you and your neighbor may pay taxes for the benefit of illegals, the boys could care less. They are looking at the revenue generated by low wages, and businesses, -Asian, Latino, black or white, it's all green to them.

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