February 21, 2018

** UPDATED – Today in Georgia: Legislation to create new drivers licenses for illegals with deferred deportation to be considered under the Gold Dome

Posted by D.A. King at 10:16 am - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  

Georgia drivers license currently issued to both legal and illegal immigrants photo: DDS


“People who enter the United States without our permission are illegal aliens, and illegal aliens should not be treated the same as people who entered the United States legally.”

New York Senator Chuck Schumer, 2009. Here.

**UPDATE: The Republican committee killed the bill. See here.

Legislation to create new drivers licenses for illegals with deferred deportation to be considered under the Gold Dome today

REAL ID Act allows for alternate documents

D.A. King

Driver’s licenses and the illegal aliens who get them are an issue under the Gold Dome again. We expect to see consideration of at least two bills before crossover day. One of them, SB 417 from Senator Josh McKoon, should see a senate hearing today in the Public Safety Committee. A similar bill from McKoon passed the senate by a huge majority in 2016.

Another, HB 484 from Rep Jeff Jones, is pending in the House Motor Vehicles Committee.

The bills are aimed at creating a second tier of driving and ID credentials so as to end the current policy of giving the illegals who have a reprieve on deportation the same driving and ID credentials issued to legal immigrants and Mercedes Benz executives.

A point of contention will likely be that fact that Georgia’s Department of Drivers Services insists they are “not issuing to illegal or undocumented immigrants.” The Associated Press and the AJC say they are.

The federal REAL ID Act of 2005 says “deferred action (on deportation) is evidence (of ) lawful status.” The United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS), the federal agency that issues the work permits, reports something different.

It isn’t as complicated as many people think. Most aliens require a work permit to legally gain employment. Officially known as ‘Employment Authorization Documents’, these EADs contain coded information on the status of the bearer. Some illegals have been given a work permit on a temporary basis, which is the basis of how they obtain a drivers license.

For this Telegraph report, and as an educational service to readers, this writer contacted USCIS for an official statement on the status of the non-citizens (aliens) who have either already ordered deported or who have been granted a deferral in their deportation proceedings and who have been issued Georgia drivers license.

We asked USCIS for a breakdown of the EAD category codes that denote unlawful status of the temporary work permit holders and received a list of codes that indicate unlawful status.

The relevant USCIS Response:

“Individuals in the following categories do not have lawful status. They have either been granted temporary relief from removal, or cannot be removed due to the refusal of all countries designated to receive the alien, or because the removal of the alien is otherwise impracticable or contrary to the public interest:

(a)(10) Aliens granted withholding of deportation or removal
(a)(11) Aliens granted deferred enforced departure
(a)(13)/(14) Aliens granted a stay of removal under the Family Unity Program
(c)(14)/(33) Aliens in a period of deferred action
(c)(18) Aliens granted deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture, and aliens under a final order of removal who are on an order of supervision because they cannot be immediately removed

Finally, in some cases, abused spouses of certain nonimmigrants who are eligible for an EAD under (c)(27)-(c)(30) may not be in status.”

DDS has issued drivers licenses and/or ID Cards to applicants in all or most of these categories.

If Georgia is going to continue to give people with debatable immigration status drivers licenses and ID Cards, we think the legislative goal of creating special, easily recognized documents that cannot be confused with credentials issued to legal immigrants is a commonsense homerun.

According to language in the legislation, these new documents will be of “unique design and color” and oriented vertically, which DDS already does on under age twenty-one drivers licenses and ID Cards issued to Americans.

Georgia drivers license issued to drivers who are under age twenty-one

At least two states, California and Michigan already have a multi-tired drivers license system in place

Both bills follow instructions contained in the REAL ID Act language that makes the new documents fully valid for driving privileges, but not for the federal acceptance that REAL ID Act regulates.

Plainly put, while they can still legally drive, the non-citizens who have unlawful status codes on their work permits will no longer be able to use their Georgia-issued drivers cards or ID Cards as ID to enter federal buildings or board airliners in the U.S. And it will be far less confusing in our voting process.

All this would be much easier to explain if we were discussing Mexico – where no illegal aliens can obtain any drivers license.