SALEM, Ore. – Oregon transportation officials reversed course Wednesday and announced that children of undocumented immigrants can get state driver licenses. The decision applies to people who qualify for President Obama’s deferred deportation policy.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals [DACA] is a federal program that offers a renewable two-year reprieve from deportation and temporary legal status under certain conditions. It could include as many as 16,000 people in Oregon.
One of the first to qualify was 20-year-old undocumented student Hugo Nicolas. He received his learning permit before the Oregon DMV stopped granting them to young immigrants like himself several months ago. Now as long as he can pass the test, he’ll finally be able to get his license.
“I can not only volunteer in my community but have a job, either take my little sisters to school or drive to the store,” Nicolas says. “So that’s going to have a big impact on me and many other people who qualify for this.”
But critics like Jim Ludwick of Oregonians for Immigration Reform question whether Oregon has the authority to grant licenses to any immigrants, even if they qualify for deferred action.
On the Web:
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Department of Homeland Security)