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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) Recipients are Considered to be "Lawfully Present" and are Eligible to Obtain a Driver's License in Most States!

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) Recipients are Considered to be "Lawfully Present" and are Eligible to Obtain a Driver's License in Most States!

DACA Recipients Are Eligible for Drivers' Licences in Many States

On June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the U.S. under 16 years of age, are currently in school or have graduated from high school, and meet several other key guidelines may request consideration for deferred action (i.e. deferral of deportation) for a period of two years, and be eligible for work authorization in the U.S.

After updated guidance released on January 18, 2013 by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Obama Administration confirmed that recipients of deferred action are authorized to be in the U.S. and are therefore considered to be "lawfully" present under federal immigration law. Before this clarification, four states (Arizona, Iowa, Michigan, and Nebraska) refused to issue driver's licenses to DACA recipients.

On February 1, 2013, Michigan secretary of state announced that the state would reverse its policy. To date, only 2 states (Arizona and Nebraska) restrict DACA recipients from obtaining a driver's license. The Obama Administration also released updated statistics on the DACA program. As of January 17, 2013, the USCIS has received 407,899 requests for deferred action, of which 394,533 have been accepted and 154,404 approved. The majority of DACA recipients are from Mexico and reside in California.

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