State clarifies policy on immigrant driver's licenses
LANSING — Michigan Secretary of State officials have clarified the agency’s policy on issuing driver’s licenses to immigrants after President Barack Obama’s recent executive action.
The agency said it will continue to issue driver's licenses to immigrants — provided the federal government can prove they are legally in the U.S.
Department spokeswoman Gisgie Gendreau clarified the policy in response to Obama’s action last week. It extends deportation protections to parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, as long as those parents have been in the country for five years.
Michigan originally resisted allowing undocumented immigrants to have driver's licenses when Obama granted legal status to young people in 2012, but Secretary of State Ruth Johnson re-considered after the White House clarified their legal status. Civil liberties and immigrants' rights groups also sued.
States are exploring how to apply or interpret Obama's actions, which many Republicans nationwide have vowed to fight.