licenses blocked for some immigrants by some BMV agencies,
contra the directive of Pres. Obama
Feb. 23, 2013 (AP): Driver's licenses for some young immigrants
who came to the United States without documentation are being
blocked by Ohio Department of Public Safety officials'
questioning whether a new federal program gives those immigrants
temporary legal status.
of Motor Vehicles
offices apparently are reaching different conclusions about the
status of the young immigrants because they are not getting
guidance from the Department of Public Safety that
oversees the BMV office, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reports.
State officials say they are not certain about whether the
language of the federal program does confer legal status.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program
established last year by the Obama administration [June 15,
2012] gives immigrants who came here without documentation as
children two years of legal status. That status allowing them to
get work permits and Social Security numbers is renewable every
figures show that more than 150,000 young people nationwide had
been approved for the program as of January of 2013, but some
states have been issuing driver's licenses to those in the
program and others have not.
and José Mendez, who live in northeast Ohio, came to the
United States as immigrants when they were children and have
been accepted in the new federal program. But Mendez was denied
a license in Parma, while officials in Cleveland
issued a license to Apaestegui, the newspaper reported.
was born in Mexico and lives in Cleveland. He said he was
refused a driver's license at the BMV office in Parma last
``A woman at
the bureau told me, `You're not even supposed to be in this
country,''' said Mendez who works shining shoes.
Apaestegui, 24, received a license from a BMV office in
Cuyahoga Falls in December.
showed them the documents I had and that was it,'' said
Apaestegui, who was born in Perú and lives in Stow.
spokesman for Ohio's Department of Public Safety, which
oversees the BMV, said the department's lawyers are studying the
federal program to determine whether it ``coincides'' with Ohio
Friday that the federal language is unclear and the department
has not yet issued any guidance to BMV offices.
immigration lawyer David Leopold said the department is
wrong and officials are ignoring the law.
of Ohio needs to look at the law and look at the guidance
established by Homeland Security,'' he said.
signed by more than 200 people—including Leopold—has urged Ohio
Attorney General Mike DeWine—a Republican—and the registrar of
Ohio's BMV to direct all of Ohio's license bureaus to issue
licenses to those who qualify under the federal program.
spokesman said Friday that DeWine's role would only be to advise
the Department of Public Safety on the issue. A message seeking
additional comment was left at the attorney general's office
from: The Plain Dealer,
CLICK HERE TO VIEW Letter to Ohio Attorney
General Mike DeWine