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Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:03 AM

Iowa joins in denying driving right to immigrants in federal program

Source: Omaha World Herald-AP

IOWA CITY (AP) — 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.

FULL story at link.



Read more: http://www.omaha.com/article/20121228/NEWS/712289938/1685#iowa-joins-in-denying-driving-right-to-immigrants-in-federal-program

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:12 AM

1. Interesting

In the past I have seen stories that Iowa was accepting of Mexican immigrants, illegal or not, in order to alleviate shortages of labor and just plain population decline/stagnation.

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Response to wercal (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:22 AM

2. Well, most of us are. We got tea party governor who is looking to make his bones

Branstad. One of the founders of the pee party.

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Response to rurallib (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 04:24 PM

9. he is not a friend of any workers even legal

In 1991, Branstad ignored binding arbitration with employees of the State of Iowa's labor unions by vetoing a salary bill, was taken to court, and lost later in appeals in the state court system (AFSCME Iowa Council 61 et al., v. Branstad).

but as for the tea party, I thought he was not conservative enough and did not get their support

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Response to lunasun (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 07:26 PM

11. Branstad was one of the founders

http://www.alec.org/about-alec/history/

At that meeting, in September 1973, state legislators, including then Illinois State Rep. Henry Hyde, conservative activist Paul Weyrich, and Lou Barnett, a veteran of then Gov. Ronald Reagan’s 1968 presidential campaign, together with a handful of others, launched the American Legislative Exchange Council. Among those who were involved with ALEC in its formative years were: Robert Kasten and Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin; John Engler of Michigan; Terry Branstad of Iowa, and John Kasich of Ohio, all of whom moved on to become governors or members of Congress. Congressional members who were active during this same period included Senators John Buckley of New York and Jesse Helms of North Carolina, and Congressmen Phil Crane of Illinois and Jack Kemp of New York.

Branstad wants to be a tea party hero, he just needs a chance. That was why keeping that one seat edge in the senate for Dems was such a big deal last election.

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Response to wercal (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:35 AM

3. The "shortages of labor" was caused, in part, by owners of meat-packing plants who wanted

 

greater profits by cutting the wages of meat-cutting workers who were here in this country legally.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 01:28 PM

7. They broke the unions 30 or 40 years ago.

I was once a member of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workers of America, working at IBP's Dakota City, Nebraska, plant. That used to be good money. Seems like wages dropped by about half after the unions were gone.

And by the way, there were Mexican workers at IBP way back in the day, too. That's where I first developed my interest in Spanish and things Latin American. While the local guys were bitching and moaning, those Mexican dudes were grinning, sharpening their knives (literally), and talking about facil dinero (easy money).

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 02:08 AM

12. In Kansas we have Somali immigrants

...working in the meat plants. I have no idea how Somalis are connected to the meat industry; and I wonder if they are indentured servants sometimes.

And of there are also lots of Mexicans in the plants, especially in the southwest part of the state.

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Response to wercal (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:09 AM

15. A federal law was passed that forced the states to tighten up license requirements

Years back in the aftermath of 9/11.

Well, back when it was passed, there was no concept of this highly nebulous "deferred action" thing, so the current laws in a lot of states don't have any provision for it.

Don't slam a state for what is at least largely caused by federal action.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:50 AM

4. I get the question all the time

we have a couple of newly hired employees who are authorized to work pursuant to deferred action. They are upset that DMV will not issue a driver's license.

Here's how I explain it. First of all, the program is called 'deferred action' because it means that the action (which is deportation proceedings) has been deferred (a/k/a delayed), thanks to the President's act and because the beneficiaries meet the requirements. All that means is there will be no deportation proceedings initiated or pursued against these beneficiaries for as long as the act remains in force.

However, this does not grant any immigration status to the beneficiaries. While they can work with EAD cards (EAD = employment authorization document), technically they don't possess any immigration status.

Therefore, most states have DMVs that require proof of legal status in the U.S. prior to releasing driver's licenses. Since these beneficiaries don't have a legal status, the DMV cannot issue a driver's license.

Unfortunately, the disconnect between federal immigration laws and state DMVs happens even to those who have legal status to be in the U.S.

For instance, a person who has an H-1B visa will usually be granted a driver's license that expires when the visa expires. However, as per immigration law, a person in H-1B status is automatically allowed to continue to work and be legally present in the U.S. once USCIS receives the extension filing. An H-1B person switching from a company to another is also entitled to begin working for the new employer as soon as the petition to change employers has been received by USCIS.

However, the DMV will not issue a renewed driver's license until the actual case has been approved (months down the road) and the approval notice from USCIS has been obtained. So the conundrum is that under federal immigration laws these people do have the legal status they need even without an approval notice from USCIS, but the state DMV will only consider the actual approval notice from USCIS. In other words, the state DMV doesn't care one bit about federal immigration law.

This results in quite a few H-1B employees who don't have a valid driver's license. Ridiculous.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:27 PM

5. Great. Even more unlicenced and uninsured drivers on the roads. Iowa used to be a very smart state..

how did they get dumbed down to knee-jerk teabillies?????????????

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:56 PM

6. well if an "illegal" in any state that allows "illegals" drivers licenses

those "illegals" can drive in any state in this country.

i guess they just can`t keep those "illegals" off the roads in the usa. well unless they throw them in jail for driving while brown.

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Response to madrchsod (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 04:43 PM

10. Correct, per the Full Faith and Credit Clause.

http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A4Sec1.html

"Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof."

Which is why the law in my state allows any adult visitor with a valid DL from another US state to drive on our public roads.

However, different states have different standards regarding immigration status/DLs, so if the illegal immigrant from a state that'd grant a license formally relocates to Iowa then no DL for said immigrant.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 01:29 PM

8. Well, that's a very assholish stance by the state of Iowa.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 06:18 AM

13. Excellent! That ensures certain minorities will never vote Republican.

Incredible how inclusive Republicans try to be.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 01:39 PM

14. Perhaps creation of a federal driver's license for those

eligible for and in federal programs that allow them to stay in the U.S. despite immigration status problems.

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