January 15, 2009
DPS sued over new drivers license rules

Can't say I'm surprised by this.

Civil rights advocates sued the Texas Department of Public Safety today, contending that new driver's license requirements for immigrants discriminate against people legally in the United States.

The suit, filed in state district court in Austin by the Texas Civil Rights Project, seeks to force the DPS to stop enforcing the rules, which went into effect Oct. 1.

Jim Harrington, the group's director, called the rules "an unconscionable burden on immigrant survivors of domestic abuse and discriminatory against the Hispanic community."

He said the policy also "creates a danger to the public safety because it forces people to drive without insurance.....It is ill-conceived, unconscionable and counterproductive."


The new rules require non-citizens to show official work authorization proof in the form of an official employment authorization document (EAD) every six months to renew their licenses.

Harrington said the federal government is slow in processing many EADs and the DPS won't renew or issue a license without them, even if the immigrants have other work documentation.

As noted previously, this little bit of security theater is tripping up legal immigrants whose paperwork is in order. At the very least, this policy needs to be reconsidered. I wish the plaintiffs good luck.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 15, 2009 to The great state of Texas
Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)