Two months after the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles quit accepting Employee Authorization Documents as proof of legal status, state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is publicly backing the decision.
"It is my opinion that the Department has authority to accept or to refuse to accept an Employment Authorization Document, standing alone, as documentary evidence of lawful status in the United States," Cuccinelli wrote In a press release,
The DMV dropped the work permit from its list of acceptable documents after a Bolivian immigrant twice convicted of drunken driving was involved in a car crash that killed one nun and injured two others in Prince William County. Authorities said the man had used the federal work permit to get a state ID card even though he was facing deportation.
The American Civil Liberties Union criticized DMV's action and Cuccinelli's opinion. "We know from our interviews that this policy is devastating for many legally present immigrants who can't find work because they can't obtain a driver's license,'" said Kent Willis, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia. "We are urging everyone, including immigrants, their neighbors and their employers, to contact their elected officials and let them know about the devastating effects of this unfair policy."
About 20 other federal documents are still accepted at Virginia DMV locations.
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