Undocumented Families Of Military Personnel Can Obtain A Driver’s License

December 24, 2013

Some people who are not in the country legally are going to be granted Arizona driver’s licenses, even as the state continues to deny the privilege to DREAMers.  They are the undocumented relatives of those serving in the military, veterans and certain reservists. A program known as Parole in Place also allows them to qualify for work documents, the same as those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, for people who entered illegally as children and met certain conditions.

But Transportation Department officials have decided only those paroled in place will get the licenses. Victor Viramontes is with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

“This is another example of the state irrationally discriminating between some people that the federal government has authorized to be present and others,” Viramontes said. “And in every instance where Arizona has irrationally discriminated against individuals, they single out DACA recipients to those with authorized presence.”

But ADOT spokesman Tim Tait says licenses can be legally granted only to those quote authorized by federal law to be in this country. He says immigration law specifically allows for parole in place, while DACA recipients are simply benefitting from a Homeland Security decision not to try to deport them. The federal courts will provide the final decision on the issue.