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Jan 21, 2013 12:25 AM by Sam Salzwedel

New policy could help undocumented immigrants get licenses

TUCSON - An announcement from the Department of Homeland Security might make it more difficult for Arizona to deny drivers licenses from some undocumented immigrants.

Arizona is the only Mexican Border State not issuing licenses to immigrants who qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival status, according to the National Immigration Law Center.

Deferred Action allows some young people who were brought to the US illegally to stay if they are in school or have finished high school.

Michigan, Iowa and Nebraska also do not grant drivers licenses while 31 others do, according to the NILC.

The DHS update says, "an individual whose case has been deferred is not considered to be unlawfully present during the period in which deferred action is in effect."

Arizona law forbids state benefits for people in the state illegally.

The ACLU sued the state over the issue in November. Immigration advocates hope the announcement will help their case.

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