Connecticut will issue driver’s licenses to young people who qualify for President Obama’s “deferred action” program. The news came at a rally Sunday attended by hundreds of people, many of them immigrants from several countries, and was announced by the co-chairman of a regional clergy group.
But the group, Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut, will continue to pursue changes in the law and try to convince the state to ultimately grant access to a driver’s license to all residents, regardless of immigration status, the Rev. James Manship told over 400 people gathered at St. Rose of Lima Church in the Fair Haven section.
Michael Lawlor, undersecretary of criminal justice for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, later confirmed the move and said the process to determine how it will work is under way. “It doesn’t require an executive order, but it’s something that the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) can do on its own as a matter of policy,” Lawlor said.
“If someone comes in with the new federal document, they will receive an ‘unverified’ license” that will be legal for driving but will not be “real ID compliant” under federal law and may not be sufficient ID for federal purposes, such as boarding an airplane, Lawlor said.
The new Connecticut policy is consistent with federal law, he said. “We’re excited to announce an initial victory today,” Manship, St. Rose’s pastor, told the crowd that filled the church hall, including hundreds of parishioners, many of them immigrants.
“Gov. Malloy’s administration will put in place a policy that will give access to a Connecticut driver’s license to the undocumented youth and young adults who have received deferred action status from the federal government.