DDS official, Michael Mitchell sends a letter to the Georgia legislature claiming DDS requires proof of “lawful status”
Below is a copy of an email sent to the Republican state senators in Georgia Saturday by DDS employee Michael Mitchell in response to me own email to them. See link for contents of my email.
From: “Mitchell, Michael”
Date: February 12, 2017 at 7:28:20 AM CST
To: “senatoralbers.com” , “Beach, Brandon” , “Black, Ellis” , “Burke, Dean” , “Cowsert, Bill” , “Dugan, Mike” , “Ginn, Frank” , SteveGooch , “Harbin, Marty” , “Harper, Tyler” , “Heath, Bill” , “Hill, Hunter” , “Hill, Jack” , “email@example.com” , “Hufstetler, Chuck” , “Jeffares, Rick” , “Jones, Burt” , “Kennedy, John” , “Kirk, Greg” , “Ligon, William” , “Martin, P”
, “firstname.lastname@example.org” , “Millar, Fran” , “Miller, Butch” , “Mullis, Jeff” , “Shafer, David” , “Stone, Jesse” , “Thompson, Bruce” , “Tippins, Lindsey” , “Unterman, Renee” , “email@example.com” , “Watson, Ben” , “Wilkinson, John” , “Williams, Michael”
Subject: Department of Driver Services and non-citizen customers
The purpose of this email is to reiterate Driver Services’ policy regarding the issuance of licenses and identification cards to non-citizens. Please see attached.
It has come to my attention that I am being accused of lying to a House committee when I stated in testimony last week that DDS does not issue licenses to “illegal aliens”.
I have yet to see the contents of an email that I understand many of you received, but I am told it contains libelous attacks against my credibility.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or have any difficulties opening the attachment.
Mike Mitchell, Director
Governmental Affairs and Public Information
Georgia Department of Driver Services
February 11, 2017
GA Department of Driver Services (DDS) Sets the Record Straight
State and Federal Laws Require Proof of Lawful Status from All Non-Citizens for License/ID Card Issuance
Recent media reports concerning the DDS driver’s license issuance policies have incorrectly stated that DDS issues credentials to illegal immigrants. That is not true. DDS requires proof of lawful status from all non-citizens before the issuance of a Georgia driver’s license or ID Card. Every person issued a Georgia driver’s license or ID card from DDS has provided documents showing proof that he or she is authorized to be in the United States.
The type of immigration document used to substantiate lawful status varies, but one thing is constant — DDS has verified that each person is authorized to be present in the United States for the term specified by the United States government and listed on their immigration document.
–> The Federal government determines a non-citizen’s immigration status and term of authorized stay in the United States. Therefore, DDS does not issue driver’s licenses and/or identification cards to “illegal aliens.”
Recent court decisions have ordered DDS to issue licenses to non-citizens who present documentation that they are authorized to remain in the United States regardless of how they entered the United States. The correction made by WSBTV’s Justin Farmer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBFv5YGARtM) to a recent legislative news story which states that DDS has issued some licenses to “people here illegally” who have been temporarily deferred is not true.
Each person issued a Georgia driver’s license or ID card has been verified to be in the United States lawfully and are not considered to be in the United States “illegally” at the time of their issuance.
DDS follows a stringent license/ID issuance procedure dictated by law. Improper reporting of this important process, circumvents the DDS mission of protecting the integrity of our issuance process.