Realizing the DREAM to Drive in Nebraska
By S.A. Mora James, President
Nebraska Hispanic Bar Association
Unfortunately, there are still some areas of inequality in our great state. The one inequality that screams for justice is the current denial of drivers’ license for children who are brought to this country as babies and who were raised and educated as U.S. Americans. Many of these same children, who are now young adults, are waiting for the privilege to serve in our Armed Forces and fight for their chosen country. Their patriotism amazes me considering how they are treated as ‘shadow people’ here in Nebraska.
These same children are also known as “DREAMERS.” DREAMER is an acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, which was an American legislative proposal, first introduced into the U.S. Senate on August 1, 2001, S.1291 by Dick Durbin and Orrin Hatch and is currently being reviewed by eight U.S. Senators. Optimistically, the DREAMERS’ ‘Inequality before the Law’ issues will be addressed in the federal legislation that eight of our U. S. Senators from both parties, (AKA “The Group of 8”), are developing in their Comprehensive Immigration Reform efforts.
The truth is that DREAMERS/DACA Recipients have legal presence and deferred status based on humanitarian reasons when they receive their work permits and social security numbers. Unfortunately, DREAMERS/DACA Recipients are currently being denied driver’s license unjustly in this State whose motto is ironically, “Equality before the Law.” State leaders who are anti-DREAMERS, apparently are not familiar or do not realize that the DACA is based on humanitarian reasons. Other humanitarian-based programs like DACA are the Violence against Women’s Act, T-Visas, U-Visas and Temporary Protective Status, which are also considered to be in deferred status and have legal presence, and are allowed to obtain drivers’ licenses in Nebraska.
Regrettably, in America today, only Nebraska and Arizona are currently denying drivers’ licenses to DREAMERS/DACA Recipients who have legal presence and deferred status. I sincerely ask you where is the ‘Equality Before the Law’ for these children and young adults in this State called the “Good Life”.