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ACLU sues Michigan Sec. of State over denying driver’s licenses to DACA recipients

author Published by Admins

The Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is suing Secretary of State Ruth Johnson on behalf of executive amnesty recipients who have been denied driver’s licenses under her interpretation of state law.

Michigan law requires a non-citizen to provide “documents demonstrating his or her legal presence in the United States” in order to obtain a driver’s license. Illegal aliens who qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program get a two-year stay of deportation and work permit but not legal status, Obama Administration officials have admitted.

A Secretary of State spokeswoman Gisgie Gendreau said, “Michigan law requires legal presence for customers to receive a driver’s license or ID card, but the federal government has said that DACA does not grant legal status. We rely on the federal government to tell us who is legally here in the United States and who is not. The feds have made clear that DACA participants are not.”

In October, Johnson told motor vehicle department workers that DACA recipients were not eligible for driver’s licenses. That outraged pro-illegal alien groups and spurred the ACLU to find illegal aliens who would have standing to sue Johnson.

The complaint asks for a ruling that DACA recipients are legally authorized to be in the U.S. and eligible for licenses. It further states that Michigan’s policy violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution by interfering with federal immigration law, and violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause by discriminating against certain non-citizens. This is the same legal strategy the ACLU used in its lawsuit against Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.

Miriam Aukerman, an attorney for the ACLU, said Michigan “should let them drive so we don’t drive them away. It’s simple. If you’re authorized to work here, you’re authorized to be here.”

Michigan has issued driver’s licenses to non-citizens with federal work permits in the past. Those non-citizens had legal presence, however. The Obama Administration has said that DACA recipients will not be deported for two years, which is different than having legal presence.

For more information, read here.

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