Iowa Reverses Itself on Driver's Licenses for DACA Recipients

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Iowa's state government ruled Wednesday that undocumented young people, or "DREAMers," who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), will be eligible for driver's licenses and ID cards. The announcement is a reversal of its previous position; in December, Iowa's Department of Transportation had said DREAMers would not be eligible because they did not have "legal status."

The state's reversal comes on the heels of guidance issued last week by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that said that undocumented young people granted a two-year reprieve from deportation under the DACA program are in fact "lawfully present" in the country.

Each state, however, still has the ability to determine whether to grant licenses to deferred action recipients.

United We Dream, a national network of DREAMers that was active in pressuring the Iowa Department of Transportation to change its position on the matter, is now turning its attention to three other states—Arizona, Nebraska, and Michigan— that have said they would not issue licenses to DACA recipients.

 

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