February 1, 2013
For Immediate Release
Contact- Jose Franco 313-721-5056, firstname.lastname@example.org
Victory for Undocumented Immigrant Youth
Secretary of State Decides to Grant DACA recipients Driver Licenses
Lansing, MI- Today, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson reversed her discriminatory policy that denied Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients their right to a driver license. This is a tremendous victory for our community and our allies.
IN her announcement, Johnson tried to misconstrue the January 18 announcement United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as a “reversal” in policy, but it was always her mistake. Over 30 states have confirmed that they will issue licenses to DACA holders; Johnson was one of a select few that needed a lawsuit to change her mind.
On October 18, 2012, Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams said “the Secretary of State is taking direction from the federal government as to who is and is not legally in the country,” according to MLive. “Because the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program doesn’t confer legal presence on its participants, we are not able to issue licenses or ID cards to DACA participants,” he continued. “As its name implies, the program merely defers action on the individual and doesn’t make the individual legally present in the United States.’”
The USCIS announcement clearly states that “An individual who has received deferred action is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to be present in the United States, and is therefore considered by DHS to be lawfully present during the period deferred action is in effect.” Furthermore, it asserts that “The relief an individual receives pursuant to the deferred action for childhood arrivals process is identical for immigration purposes to the relief obtained by any person who receives deferred action as an act of prosecutorial discretion.”
Secretary of State Ruth Johnson states, “The feds now say they consider these young people to be lawfully present while they participate in the DACA program, so we are required to issue
driver’s licenses and identification cards. I will continue to follow the law.”
One Michigan led a call-in campaign that generated over 1,000 calls to the Secretary of State office. Also, One Michigan was a plaintiff in a lawsuit against Johnson.
“This reversal will give immigrant youth the opportunity to contribute more fully to society by giving them a chance to work, go to school, and lead productive, fulfilling lives.” states Evelin Calderon, One Michigan member and DACA recipient.
Hugo has been detained at Monroe County Jail in Michigan for over a year, despite being a low-priority case and having a pending Asylum case. Let him fight his case outside of detention.
Hugo fled Mexico after being tortured for being gay. Two men burned and sliced Hugo’s genitals, leaving them permanently scarred after they found out he was gay. His own father even threatened to kill him!
Hugo is a low-priority case and should be released immediately so he can be reunited with his partner. Hugo is terrified of being sent back. Help us get him out!
Make a Phone Call
1. Call ICE – John Morton (202.732.3000)
Sample Script: “I am calling to urge ICE to release Hugo Gallardo Petatan (A#200-299-394) from Monroe County Jail in Michigan. Hugo was tortured and threatened in Mexico for being gay. He has been living in the U.S. for 6 years and is terrified of going back. Hugo is a low-priority case and has an open Asylum case. He should be released immediately.”
SIGN THE PETITION
EMILIO TOVAR GONZALEZ (A# 099-092-978): Drop hold and release him from the St. Clair County Jail.Emilio is a DREAMer and sole provider for her US citizen daughters. President Obama has said he is not deporting DREAMers. So why Emilio is still detained?
Tell ICE to release Emilio from detention so that his two daughters do not spend Christmas without their father. Sign the petition and make a call!
Call ICE – John Morton @ 202-732-3000
Sample Script: “Hi, I am calling to urge ICE to release Emilio Tovar Gonzalez(A# 099-092-978), who is currently being held at St. Clair County Jail in Michigan. Emilio is a DREAMer and sole provider to her U.S. citizen daughters, who need him back home. Please don’t let his daughters spend Christmas alone. Let Emilio go home to her family now!”
SIGN THE PETITION!
As you may already know the Secretary of state made the decision to deny Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals the right to apply for a Driver’s License or State ID . We waited long enough and on December 19th 2012 One Michigan in conjunction with the ACLU and other DACA-eligible individuals filed a lawsuit with the U.S. district court to ensure immigrant youth authorized to work in the U.S. can drive.
We Don’t know how long or when the lawsuit will get its day in court, we want changes to happen NOW! Will you urge Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to overturn this discriminatory policy?
“Hi, I am calling to urge the Secretary of State to reverse the backwards policy of denying driver’s licenses to DACA holders. This goes against the federal government’s REAL ID Act and makes Michigan an unwelcome place for immigrants.”
Spread the message; now that we got deferred action, legislators need to recognize our power and do what is good for our communities, not their votes.