It may soon be tougher for immigrants to get a driver’s license in Virginia. They’ll have to use something other than their employment authorization documents to prove they're legally in the country.
Gov. Bob McDonnell ordered the DMV to require other documentation. The decision comes after a Bolivian man was involved in a crash that killed a nun and injured two others. That man, Carlos Martinelly Montano, had prior drunken driving convictions. He’d used his employment authorization document to get a Virginia ID card, even though he was facing deportation.
“We must ensure that documents accepted as proof of legal presence are reliable,” McDonnell said in a news release. “Virginia law is clear in the requirement that an individual be lawfully in the United Stats to be eligible for an identification card or to have the privilege to drive.”
Immigrant advocacy groups said the governor’s efforts are misguided.
“The governor should be asking why he was released from jail after serving just 20 days instead of the full 364,” Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, an immigrants’ rights lobbyist, said. “The real situation here is we’re not enforcing our drunk driving laws.”