Photo: North Carolina Driver's Licenses for Undocumented
An undocumented immigrant in North Carolina has sued the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles for denying him a driver’s license despite having the required documents and passing all the tests.
The law firm McKinney Perry & Coalter filed suit Thursday on behalf of Erick Renteria, an 18-year-old resident of Greensboro.
“What happens here is that the DMV is not interpreting state law correctly, since my client fulfills all the requisites and I hope this lawsuit speeds up the department’s process so it takes the relevant decision,” Jeremy L. McKinney, Renteria’s attorney, told Efe.
He said that Renteria, who was accepted into the immigration program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, went last month to an office of the DMV with his work permit and Social Security card.
“He passed the respective exams and even received a temporary license in the mail, but later got a letter notifying him that the license had been canceled,” he said.
Renteria, brought to the United States when he was barely a year old, told Fox 8 television that he needed the license to help his family run errands and in case of emergencies.
“I’m not the only one in this situation. I’m sure there are people who need their license more than me and can’t get it because of this,” he said.
This is the first lawsuit filed against the North Carolina DMV since it decided to withhold licenses from Deferred Action beneficiaries.
In September 2012, DMV then-chief Michael Robertson sent a letter to state Attorney General Roy Cooper asking for a legal opinion on the validity of issuing licenses to Deferred Action recipients.
Cooper answered on Jan. 17 that immigrants with Deferred Action had a “legal presence” in the United States and fulfilled all the requirements of the state law on obtaining licenses.
North Carolina, Nebraska and Arizona are the only states in the country that refuse to issue licenses to Deferred Action beneficiaries.