Gov. Dave Heineman says state law prohibits Nebraska from going along with an Obama Administration program that makes young illegal immigrants eligible for driver’s licenses.
The ACLU has sued both the governor and the Department of Motor Vehicles on behalf of four of the estimated 1,400 youth brought into the country illegally at a young age who now live in Nebraska.
“It’s interesting that every member of the media in the state of Nebraska has a copy of the lawsuit, but they’ve not served this office yet, which is quite interesting, but normal for the ACLU,” Heineman responds to a reporter’s question concerning the lawsuit during a conference call.
The Obama Administration’s Deferred Status for Childhood Arrivals grants work permits to youth brought into the country illegally at a very young age. Only Nebraska and Arizona deny youth in the program driver’s licenses. Florida Gov. Rick Scott recently vetoed a bill approved by the Florida legislature which would have allowed Florida participants in the program to apply for driver’s licenses.
Heineman insists state law gives him no option.
“Most of you may recall in April of 2009, the Nebraska legislature voted 44-0 to pass LB 403,” Heineman says. “And let me read to you what section one of that bill says, ‘Not withstanding any other provisions of law, no state agency or political subdivision of the state of Nebraska shall provide public benefits to a person not lawfully present in the United States.’”
The ACLU is the second lawsuit filed over Nebraska’s refusal to participate. 24-year-old Mayra Saldana sued the director of the Nebraska Motor Vehicles Department after being granted deferred action under the Obama Administration program.
AUDIO: Gov. Dave Heineman comments on the ACLU lawsuit. [1 min.]