The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed the lawsuit in state district court in Austin. It’s on behalf of three men with permission to work in the country and a Lewisville landscaping business that employs seasonal foreign workers through a federal program.
The men are landscaping workers in North Texas who need to drive as part of their job but could not obtain a Texas driver’s license under the new DPS policies because their visas are valid for only 10 months.
DPS rules exclude people from receiving driver’s licenses if they have a visa for less than one year or have less than six months remaining on it, MALDEF said.
Officials also changed the appearance of driver’s licenses for persons with legal permission to be in the U.S. so that they differ from licenses given to citizens and green card holders.
MALDEF contends the Public Safety Commission, which oversees DPS, exceeded its authority and did not have Legislative approval to adopt the rules.
Another suit had been filed two weeks ago by the Texas Civil Rights Project on the grounds that the new rules were discriminatory. At the very least, we know they’re causing all kinds of grief for plenty of folks whose paperwork is all in order. I’d bet someone will win an injunction, at least for the time being, to suspend these new procedures.