Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Legal immigrants with temporary visas face life without drivers license

"Immigrants who become citizens and immigrants granted permission to remain permanently in the country, such as refugees, are among those who can continue to get licenses."

"Students, immigrant workers and anyone here on a temporary visa will not. Neither will immigrants who can't prove they're legally in the country."

"The main distinction in the new law is between longtime legal immigrants and those here temporarily or those here illegally, said Brig. Gen. Jerry Humble, director of the governor's Office of Homeland Security. The certificates also will expire along with an immigrant's visa, ensuring that immigrants who become illegal don't possess legal driving documents."

"Immigrant workers and students said yesterday they fear they'll be mistaken for illegal immigrants. They don't want to carry around additional and hard-to-replace ID such as their foreign passports or immigration paperwork, and they don't know what ID they'll substitute for routine activities such as applying for an apartment, opening a bank account or renting a car."

The Tennessean

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