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February 14, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Cinthia Marroquin:  919-985-5868
Mayra Aguilar:  919-995-6650
cinthia@thencdreamteam.org

Deferred Action Beneficiaries Respond to NCDOT Secretary Anthony Tata’s Announcement

Raleigh, NC—February 14, 2013 North Carolina immigrant youth welcome the announcement from NCDOT Secretary Anthony Tata to re-issue drivers licenses to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries.  The announcement is a belated victory for undocumented youth throughout North Carolina who have been organizing to publicly demand that Anthony Tata execute his responsibilities as Secretary of Transportation without discriminatory and predatory practices.

While the announcement is a positive one, immigrant youth and North Carolina’s Hispanic community must remain vigilant of these types of political tactics that marginalize communities and add to the anti immigrant rhetoric that has become a staple of local politicians. Mayra Aguilar, a DACA beneficiary and young mother organized her community to rally outside the Department of Transportation. She states, “ the decision to deny such drivers licenses has clearly been politically motivated from the beginning and moving forward we expect better from the leadership of this state and their treatment of the Hispanic population”.

Of note in the announcement is that licenses issued to DACA beneficiaries will have a clearly marked label to indicate the card holder does not have lawful status. This is of concern for practical and economic reasons but especially for the prevailing anti immigrant tones.  Today, a group of DACA beneficiaries were not allowed to be at the press conference and had to wait outside. These youth sought accountability from Anthony Tata and he ignored them on his way out.

This kind of continued treatment towards the Hispanic community is unfair.

“We will have zero tolerance to being used as political pawns when it comes to the safety of our communities” says Cinthia Marroquin, a DACA beneficiary and lead organizer for the NC DREAM Team. “We know this is politics as usual… moving forward, the NC DREAM Team welcomes a better reception from the leadership of this state and especially from our Governor, Pat McCrory who can show true leadership to move NC forward”.

The NC DREAM Team is committed to organizing the immigrant community. Both Democrats and Republicans in the state have a responsibility and stake in this matter.

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The NC DREAM Team is an organization composed of undocumented immigrant youth and allies. We are dedicated to the creation of a sustainable, community-led immigrant rights movement in North Carolina. We aim to help undocumented youth recognize our individual and collective power to activate our communities. We also aim to create awareness of the broader struggle for social justice. We do not shy away from purposeful direct action and civil disobedience in the pursuit of a more just future for our immigrant community.

We are meeting with DOT Secretary Tata right now. He has the power to reissue our drivers licenses and has already gotten clarification from Attorney General Cooper on the matter. Why is he holding our licenses hostage? Let him know you stand with immigrant youth!

Take Action:

Call NC Secretary of Transportation Tony Tata RIGHT NOW:  919-707-2800 or 919-707-2834

Sample Script: “Hi, I’m calling to support driver licenses for DACA immigrant youth like Mayra Aguilar who is meeting with Secretary Tata today. Mayra is a young mother and needs to be able to drive without fear. She needs a drivers license and Secretary Tata has a responsibility to keep all of North Carolina safe with licensed and insured drivers. We must put safety over hate politics.”

Sample Tweet: .@NCDOT is holding #DACA licenses hostage! @NCDREAMTeam is meeting w/ @ajtata, tell him u stand with #immigrantyouth! Call 919-707-2800

Let us know what they tell you!

Holding our drivers licenses hostage may be a game of politics for Anthony Tata, the Department of Transportation Secretary. But for Mayra Aguilar, a local DACA eligible youth and young mother from Garner, it is about survival and being able to care for her family and drive without fear. Mayra has requested a meeting with NCDOT Secretary Tata to seek accountability. This meeting is scheduled for today at 4 pm.

We need our community to stand behind Mayra and all undocumented youth across North Carolina. It’s time to get our licenses back!

MA

Mayra and her daughter

Tata

DOT Secretary Tony Tata

Call NC Secretary of Transportation Tony Tata RIGHT NOW: 919-707-2800, 919-707-2834

Sample Script: “Hi, I’m calling to support driver licenses for DACA immigrant youth like Mayra Aguilar who is meeting with Secretary Tata today. Mayra is a young mother and needs to be able to drive without fear. She needs a drivers license and Secretary Tata has a responsibility to keep all of North Carolina safe with licensed and insured drivers. We must put safety over hate politics.”

Earlier last month, NC Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Tata, decided to stop issuing driver’s licenses to DACA youth and has since kept our licenses hostage. For him, it is a game to flex his power and in that game all North Carolinians lose.

DMVFAIL

Even after a favorable statement from our Attorney General, Roy Cooper, the NCDOT is still refusing to change this discriminatory policy. Tata is knowingly and intentionally attacking us as immigrant youth and in the process is violating federal directive and abusing his power to bully our communities.

Anthony Tata has the power to re-issue drivers licenses. We demand he do so immediately. We ask you to demand with us!

1) Sign & Share the petition:

http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/license/

2) Call NC Secretary of Transportation Tony Tata RIGHT NOW: 919-707-2800

Sample Script: “Hi, I’m calling to support driver licenses for DACA
immigrant youth like Mayra Aguilar who is meeting with Secretary Tata
today. Mayra is a young mother and needs to be able to drive without
fear. She needs a drivers license and Secretary Tata has a
responsibility to keep all of North Carolina safe with licensed and
insured drivers. We must put safety over hate politics.”

3) Call Eric Boyette (NC DMV Commissioner) – (919) 861-3015

Sample script: “Hi, I am calling to ask that the NC DMV adhere to the
statement made by Attorney General Cooper saying DACA holders have a
right to obtain driver licenses by NC state law. I ask that this
official statement be reflected in the DMV’s requirements for driver
licenses immediately. Thank you!”

WE NEED OUR LICENSE BACK!!!

We are gaining momentum! The North Carolina NAACP has issued a statement supporting immigrant youth. Keep calling and signing the petition so that Anthony Tata, Pat McCrory, and all of these politicians know that they must act immediately. But we have to keep calling until we have a solution!

Make A Call:

Eric Boyette (NC DMV Commissioner)  –  (919) 861-3015

Tony Tata (NC Dept of Transportation Secretary)  –  (919) 707-2800

Sample script: “Hi, I am calling to ask that the NC DMV adhere to the statement made by Attorney General Cooper saying DACA holders have a right to obtain driver licenses by NC state law. I ask that this official statement be reflected in the DMV’s requirements for driver licenses immediately. Thank you!”

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NAACP

NC NAACP Issues Statement in Response to the NC DOT’s Unwillingness to Comply with NC Attorney General’s Ruling on Licenses for Young People Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Executive Order

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

22 January 2013

For More Information:    Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, President, 919-394-8137

Mrs. Amina J. Turner, Executive Director, 919-682-4700

Atty. Jamie Phillips, Public Policy Coordinator, 919-682-4700

For Media Assistance:     Rob Stephens, Field Secretary, 336-577-9335

The NC NAACP is asking Governor Pat McCrory to instruct his Secretary of Transportation Anthony Tata to obey the federal rules, as upheld by N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, and issue driver licenses to young immigrants who are in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, the NC NAACP President, is challenging the Governor to divorce himself from the petulant and adolescent comments of Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.  Forest is quoted as saying, “We are a sovereign state and need to stand up and push back when the Feds encroach on our ability to protect our citizens and enforce our laws.”

Barber said, “North Carolina needs to focus on unifying and lifting up all people, especially our children. Lt. Gov. Forest’s statement divides and scapegoats.  Does Gov. McCrory agree that North Carolina should act in direct violation of the U.S. Government’s laws and rules, as interpreted by the N.C. top law enforcement official? Forest’s outburst may get some applause at the tea party rallies he attends, but if this is a sign about how Gov. McCrory intends to govern all the people of North Carolina–not just the extremists, then the people of North Carolina need to know now.  Both the Governor and the Lt. Governor swore on the Bible to uphold the U.S. Constitution and laws.  And 145 years ago, the N.C. Constitution declared ‘Every citizen of this State owes paramount allegiance to the Constitution and government of the United States, and no law or ordinance of the State in contravention or subversion thereof can have any binding force.’

The United States government has established a process that defers deportation of immigrants who came to this country illegally as children. This process, called DACA, provides these young people with the opportunity to obtain a NC driver license. Lt. Gov. Forest recently said, they should “not be afforded the privileges reserved for US citizens,” and accused President Obama of ignoring the law. “

“We urge Governor McCrory and his administration to comply with the U.S. laws.  Make it clear in the beginning of your administration that tea party rhetoric has no place in your administration.  The NC NAACP believes the issue of how we treat our young Latino sister and brothers will play an important part in defining the new McCrory Administration.  Will you support the Attorney General, who says you should instruct the Division of Motor Vehicles to resume its sensible practice of issuing licenses to DACA young people?  Are will you force them to go further into the shadows, waiting for the comprehensive immigration reforms that the great majority of federal legislators now are talking about?”

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Hon. Pat McCrory

Governor of North Carolina

116 W. Jones Street

Raleigh, NC 26702

RE: Your Position on DACA Issue

Dear Governor McCrory,

The NC NAACP respectfully requests that you support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a federal law created by Executive Order of the President of the United States. This request comes from the root of what keeps this country great. Our Constitution, created by Lincoln Republicans and African Americans of this State, 145 years ago clearly reads, “Every citizen of this State owes paramount allegiance to the Constitution and government of the United States, and no law or ordinance of the State in contravention or subversion therof can have any binding force.”

We pray that you do not agree with those who would use antiquated language such as “sovereign state” and who would imply a state may ignore and reject a federal law set in place by the President of the United States. We pray you reject nullification language and efforts by your Lt. Governor and those in the extreme pockets of your party. We pray that you and your administration comply with U.S. laws and declare that tea party rhetoric has no place in your administration. We pray you follow the lead of your Attorney General and instruct the Division of Motor Vehicles to resume its issuing of licenses to young people covered by DACA. The NAACP will stand in every way with our Latino and Immigrant Brothers and Sisters. We must move forward as a state not backwards!

All of this we ask and pray with respect and hope.

Respectfully,

Barber Signature

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

President, NC State Conference of the NAACP

 cc: NAACP Members, Partners, and Friends

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Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

On Tuesday, January 22, immigrant youth from all over NC will march to the NC Department of Transportation building to demand they overturn the ban on driver licenses for DACA holders. Click here for details. If you can’t make it tomorrow, you can help by signing the petition and making calls to NC DMV commissioner Eric Boyette. A sample script is included in the petition so you can leave the commissioner a clear message that you stand with immigrant youth. He has the power to fix this and should do so immediately. Having licensed drivers makes our roads safer and, in turn, our state. Immigrant youth who have been granted deferred action have been given a permit to work, let them drive!

Meet Jackie Aguilar, a dreamer from Raleigh and one of the organizers of today’s event. She’s protesting not just for herself, but for her friends as well.

“Many of my friends were already approved for DACA. We were given a permit to work, let us drive!” – Jackie

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DREAMer Jackie Aguilar, Class of ’08

My name is Jackie. I’m a dreamer who grew up in Raleigh since I was 8 years old. I graduated from William G. Enloe High School in 2008 with honors. Even though I have had a difficult life after high school and struggled through a society that doesn’t accept me, I still hold aspirations of getting a degree and a job I deserve. To me, nothing is more important than an education and I have always demonstrated that to my younger siblings. I try to be the best for them. Getting a driver license will make my life easier. It will allow me the ability to drive to school and to work without fear of getting pulled over and arrested for driving without a license. Here in Raleigh, people are deported when they’re arrested for driving without a license. I helped organize Tuesday’s rally because, as Attorney General Cooper already clarified, DACA holders are entitled to a driver license. To the NC DMV: Stop holding our licenses hostage. We have been given a permit to work, let us drive! If you stand with us, sign the petition demanding we get our license back. You can help by making calls to NC DMV commissioner Eric Boyette too. Thank you!

Sign the PETITION to get our driver license back by clicking here!

La marcha sigue en pie! Nos vemos mañana, Martes, afuera de las oficinas del Departamento de Transportacion. Mas detalles:

Cuando: Martes, 22 de Enero a las 9am
Donde: 1 S. Wilmington St. Raleigh, NC

*Bring your banners, caps and gowns, and matracas.
**Parking: Street parking or on-site parking decks at 120 S. Wilmington St. and also 115 S. Wilmington St. ($2/hour).

Para mas informacion, favor de contactar a:
Jacki Aguilar: 919-395-8458
Jose Rico: 919-802-0508

 

After weeks of going back and forth on the recent change in policy by the DMV to not grant drivers licenses to immigrant youth that benefit from President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), it has become evident that the NC Department of Transportation does not intend to change back its policy. They will continue to hold our drivers licenses hostage.

Only weeks ago, the DMV stated that they would stop issuing drivers licenses until they heard from the opinion of Attorney General Roy Cooper. Late last week, Cooper issued a statement explaining that DACA beneficiaries not only hold legal presence, but that the state is required to issue us driver licenses:

“It is therefore our opinion that individuals who have been granted deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy directive are lawfully present in the United States during the period of deferment. As such, N.C. Gen. Stat. 20-7(s), which states that DMV shall issue a drivers license of limited duration to person who present valid documentation demonstrating deferment and meet all other statutory requirements, requires that such licenses be issued.”

Following Attorney General Cooper’s clarification, US Citizen & Immigration Services (USCIS) also issued a formal statement in regards to driver licenses for DACA recipients:

“Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. For purposes of future inadmissibility based upon unlawful presence, an individual whose case has been deferred is not considered to be unlawfully present during the period in which deferred action is in effect. An individual who has received deferred action is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to be present in the United States, and is therefore considered by DHS to be lawfully present during the period deferred action is in effect.”

http://www.uscis.gov/images/layout/logo.jpg

According to recent USCIS data,  as of this month there are 14,777 immigrant youth that were given deferred action in the state of North Carolina.

However, it has become apparent to us that our state’s Department of Transportation does not care much for these clarifications. They continue to discriminate DACA youth and have given no sign of changing back the DMV policy that keeps us from obtaining a driver license. They have also found an ally in their bullying of immigrant youth with Lt. Governor Dan Forest.

Nolicenses4illegalers

A recent statement given by NC Lt. Governor Dan Forest expresses:

“A person entering the United States illegally should not be afforded the privileges reserved for US citizens..”

This is yet another attack on us. You and I have a choice to make: Will we remain silent or fight back?

Here at the NC DREAM Team, we have heard our community loud and clear. We have received your calls and read your emails and messages that:  We NEED to fight back! We WANT to fight back! We WILL fight back!
DMVFAIL

Here’s what we need to do:

1. Sign the petition and make calls:

http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/license/

2. Come to the protest organized by local immigrant youth TOMORROW:

When: Tuesday, January 22 @ 9am
Where: 1 S Wilmington St. Raleigh, NC

*Bring your banners, caps and gowns, and matracas.
**Parking: Street parking or on-site parking decks at 120 S. Wilmington St. and also 115 S. Wilmington St. ($2/hour).

For more info on the protest please contact:
Jacki Aguilar: 919-395-8458
Jose Rico: 919-802-0508

See you there!

SIGN THE PETITION HERE!

It’s been stated by the NC Department of Transportation, that licenses will no longer be given to those who are DACA eligible and has revoked those that have already gone out. But that doesn’t mean we should give up or that we are powerless to change what’s happening.

DMVFAIL

A march is being planned for this Tuesday, Jan. 22 at the North Carolina Department of Transportation, 1 S Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC. There’s a Facebook event with all the details. Click here to confirm your assistance or to send immigrant youth in NC a message of support! 

If you can’t make it, start an event in your city demanding this backwards policy be overturned. We’ve also created a petition with the numbers of those people who can make things right. Sign the petition, call as much as possible, and spread it widely.

Petition: http://bit.ly/licensenc

Attorney General Roy Cooper has the power to overturn this policy. In fact, the NCDOT is waiting for clarification from him that DACA holders do bear legal presence. Give him a  call and ask him to give us our licenses back!

MAKE A CALL: (919) 716-6400

Sample script: “Hi, I am calling to urge Attorney General Roy Cooper to reverse the backwards policy of denying driver’s licenses to recipients of deferred action. According to NC state law, all it takes to get a driver license is legal presence. Please reinstate the issuance of driver licenses to DACA holders now.”

In the meantime, the NC DMV has changed their requirements to obtain a license, specifically excluding DACA holders (code c33). This is senseless as it keeps immigrant youth from driving to the same jobs they’ve been authorized to work at. Make one last call!

NC Department of Transportation – (919) 707-2800

Sample script: “Hi, I’m calling to urge NC Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata to reverse the backwards policy of denying driver licenses to recipients of deferred action. They have been authorized to legally work, let them drive!”

Believe us when we say, this is only the beginning if things don’t change, and FAST. We’re not letting this go without a fight, and neither should you.

If there was a question whether DMVs across NC were denying drivers licenses to deferred action beneficiaries or not, ask no more. We woke up to clarification yesterday when this stance became official. The DMV has updated its website reflecting the Department of Transportation’s intolerance of immigrant youth.

DMVFAIL

Let’s take a look:

Listed below are acceptable documents you can use as a non U.S. Citizen.

  • I-551 Permanent Resident Card
  • Machine Readable Immigrant visa
  • I-766 Employment Authorization Card (must not reflect C33)
  • Temporary I-551 stamp on I-94 or Passport
  • I-327 Re-entry Permit with supporting immigration documentation
  • I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
  • I-20 accompanied by I-94
  • DS-2019 accompanied by I-94
  • I-571 Refugee Travel Document with supporting immigration documentation
  • I-797 Notice of Action
  • I-521L Authorization for Parole of an Alien into U.S. with supporting immigration documentation
  • I-220B Order of supervision with supporting immigration documentation

The I-766 Employment Authorization Card (C33) is what is being issued to deferred action (DACA) receipients. Here the Department of Transportation / DMV specifically targets immigrant youth. They have claimed to media sources that the wording of legal presence vs legal status is confusing to them and they are unsure about the legality of issuing us drivers licenses. So they are seeking the opinion of Attorney General Roy Cooper and USCIS.

But why deny us licenses if all NCDOT needs is clarification from USCIS? And why now? It’s plain discriminatory! As we have pointed out before, deferred action has existed long before it was known as the directive from President Obama. Those who have been granted deferred action in the past and currently have no problem obtaining a license. But all of a sudden if you’re a DREAMer granted deferred action, you’re out of luck. Once again, we are used as political football. We cannot and will not remain silent!

ncdmv

Turns out the NCDMV has decided to put a hold on issuing driver licenses to Deferred Action beneficiaries. Remember when we were cautiously optimistic after President Obama’s June 15th announcement? This is precisely why.

Apparently, the NC Department of Transportation has contacted USCIS asking if having deferred action means you have legal status or not. USCIS has stated that who gets drivers licenses is up to each individual state not the federal government.

In the meantime, there is no law stating DACA beneficiaries cannot obtain a drivers license. This is only an internal policy that is not written down anywhere. We suggest you go to the DMV when you receive your work permit and social security number. Let us know how it goes. Email Jose Rico at jose.rico@thencdreamteam.org with your name and city/county where you live so we can keep track of what individual DMVs are saying. 

Baltazar Sanchez Acosta

Baltazar Sanchez Acosta
A#: 225-213-693
Detained since May 2012

Baltazar is a DREAMer who was being held at Stewart Detention Center despite being DACA eligible. So much for Obama keeping his promises. But with your help we were able to do it. Baltazar was released from Stewart on Tuesday afternoon, after 7 months! Thank you to everyone who signed the petition, made the calls, and supported him in every way possible. This proves the power we have as a community! We will keep you updated on his case. Thanks again for taking action!

 

Baltazar sends this note:

“Les quiero dar las gracias a todas las personas que me ayudaron de todo corazón muchas  gracias. Especialmente a Cinthia Marroquín por todo su apoyo durante el proceso. Les estaré muy agradecido por siempre sin su ayuda todo prácticamente hubiera sido mucho mas difícil! MUCHAS GRACIAS de parte de mi y mi familia.”

I would like to thank every single person from the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone that supported me. Especially to Cinthia Marroquin for all the support she gave us during the whole process. I will be forever grateful, because without y’alls help it could have been even more difficult. THANK YOU VERY MUCH on behalf of my self and my family.”

Baltazar was released from Stewart Detention Center in Georgia, the same state where several other families are being held.  Take Miguel’s case for example, Miguel was on his way to work when he was stopped by the police. He was pulled over for expired tags and when asked for ID provided his expired NC driver license. The officer proceeded to ask Miguel for a valid ID, saying that the expired license was not enough. So Miguel showed him his passport. The officer proceeded to arrest him and charged him with driving with an expired license and fraudulent ID? Yes, that is a question mark. Miguel has since then been transferred to North Georgia Detention Center where he has been held for nearly a month. According to John Morton’s memo from June 2011 this case is just as low-priority as Baltazar’s and Miguel should be released immediately.

Another Low Priority Deportation: 1 Year Old
Grandson Needs Miguel Home!

We are working really hard to bring attention to more low priority cases and hope you’ll help us by getting the word out. So make sure to SIGN and SHARE the petition to release Miguel! Make sure to call ICE to tell them to release him immediately. Let’s get him released!

Donate & Subscribe

Donate here. Donations help us travel around the state and purchase materials for actions and events. You can also subscribe to our mailing list.

@NCDREAMTeam

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