United States, 18th September: Soon, undocumented immigrants in California can look forward to get in driver’s seat.
It is being hoped that as many as 450,000 young undocumented immigrants living in California may get driver’s licenses soon. And this is certainly a dream come true for many young dreamers.
Californian immigrants to get driving licenses—Without a driver’s license, many like 17-year-old Alondra Esquivel had to struggle for doing even the very basic things. Esquivel has to depend on her relatives including her boyfriend for reaching Fresno State University from her home which is nearly 20 miles away.
And she is not allowed to drive without a valid driver’s license by her parents for the fear of getting caught and getting deported out of the US.
So, what restricts her from getting a driver’s license even though majority of Californians are able to get a driver’s license? Well, it’s the fact that she is an unlawful resident in California because she was brought to California from Mexico at the young age of 7 unlawfully.
Dreams coming true due to US deferred deportation policy--Thanks to the new reforms to US immigration policy, she and many others like her will be granted driver’s license. This will be possible under the new US deferred deportation program by Obama administration.
Apart from driver’s licenses, all such immigrants living in California will also get legal US work permits for a period of two years to work legally in the US.
And a point worth notable here is that California incidentally has largest number of undocumented immigrants coming forward to get a rare chance to make significant change in their lives.
The US has made it quite clear that its up to each US state to decide whether or not it wants to grant US driver’s licenses to those who had come to the US unlawfully as children.
Apart from California, several other US states have taken the initiative to grant driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants getting approved for US deferred deportation program.
These include Georgia and Oregon. And there are still others like Arizona which are adamant to rob young undocumented immigrants of basic privileges so as to force them to move out of the US on their own.