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U.S. Bans Driver’s Licenses to Illegal Immigrants

Posted February. 11, 2005 22:53,   


The U.S. Congress passed a REAL ID Bill on February 10, prohibiting illegal immigrants from receiving their driver’s licenses.

There is further controversy surrounding the strict political exile conditions that the amendment also reinforces. The bill is expected to take effect promptly after the Senate’s endorsement.

Human rights organizations in the U.S., including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), immediately criticized the amendment, saying that the revision “refuses to protect aliens under the American constitution,” while Amnesty International feared the amendment will “corner the refugees who are escaping from persecution to extremes by restricting political exile.”

According to the amendment, immigrants must submit documents verifying their legality to receive an American driver’s license in the future. The driving permit will be automatically suspended once the visa expires. It is, therefore, basically impossible for illegal immigrants to receive their driver’s licenses.

The amendment also states that expatriation applicants must prove their affiliation with a certain race, religion, nationality, and social organization, along with reasons for persecution. Applicants suspected of terrorism will be deported immediately.

Mainstream press, like the N.Y. Times, speculated on dissenting views between Republicans concerning the hardliner-driven bill, and forecasted a murky future for the Senate’s sanction.

Jin Lee Jae-Young Kim leej@donga.com redfoot@donga.com