State Reps. Ramos And Reece Bill To Ensure Ohio Follows DACA Regulations Gets First Hearing
HB 155 would prevent discriminatory, arbitrary driver's license decisions
June 11, 2013
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COLUMBUS—State Representatives Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) and Alicia Reece (D- Cincinnati) offered sponsor testimony to the House Transportation Committee today on House Bill 155, which would ensure the Ohio Department of Public Safety (DPS) follows federal guidelines to issue driver’s licenses to immigrants.

Through the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), some immigrant applicants are eligible to receive driver’s licenses after meeting qualifications outlined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). So far, a number of eligible applicants have been denied a license by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles with little explanation. House Bill 155 ensures that a person who qualifies for the DACA program be able to obtain a driver’s license provided they have the necessary documents.

“Those who qualify for Deferred Action are youth who were brought here as young children, have been raised as Americans, and they call this country home. House Bill 155 would ensure Ohio is following federal guidelines and allow qualified youth to receive a driver’s license while they continue the process to become documented citizens.” said Rep. Ramos.

Currently, 31 states adhere to DACA and allow undocumented individuals to obtain their driver’s license under President Obama’s Dream Act Executive Order. Ohio was one of the states, but many undocumented individuals who qualify for DACA are being denied a driver’s license.

“The Federal government and even Attorney General DeWine have made it very clear that individuals who qualify for the DACA program are eligible to obtain their driver’s license,” said Rep. Reece. “House Bill 155 would ensure that these youth are not arbitrarily discriminated against, but would allow those playing by the rules to be given an opportunity to succeed along the path to full citizenship.”

Under the federal program, young people that came to the United States can avoid deportation for up to two years by meeting stringent criteria designed by DHS to show an individual does not pose a public safety risk or security threat. The application for deferred action is approved or denied on a case-by-case basis.

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