UPDATED – BREAKING NEWS May 20, 2015 UPDATE LB623 Drivers License for Illegal Alien (DACA) FINAL VOTE PASSED. Now it goes to Governor Ricketts for signing or Veto.
9 No Votes: Bloomfield; Brasch; Groene; Kintner; Lindstrom; McCoy; Murante; Riepe; Schnoor.
2 Present Not Voting: Hilkemann; Watermeier.
4 Excused Not Voting: Craighead; Larson; Scheer; Schilz.
34 YES VOTES: Baker; Bolz; Campbell; Chambers; Coash; Cook; Crawford; Davis; Ebke; Fiesen; Garrett; Gloor; K. Haar; Hadley; Hansen; B. Harr; Howard; Hughes; Johnson; Kolowski; Kolterman; Krist; Kuehn; McCollister; Mello; Morfeld; Nordquist; Pansing-Brooks; Schumacher; Seiler; Smith; Stinner; Sullivan; Willaims.
UPDATE 4/11/2015 – Committee Advances Bill to Floor – New names added. Tell them you will not donate, volunteer, promote or vote for them again – they want the illegal alien/Mexican voting bloc they’ve got it! – That includes the National Republican Party and the Nebraska Republican Party and Counties.
…The committee adopted an amendment that requires the licenses to be surrendered if the DACA program is struck down in court or discontinued by an executive order by a future president…..Murante asked to delay further action on the bill until Wednesday so he could work out details on a second amendment that would require the licenses to clearly indicate the holder had DACA status. Such markings would allow a law enforcement officer to quickly identify an invalid license if the program is discontinued….After his motion failed, Murante declined to pursue the amendment further. He said he could not recall a similar situation in which senators refused the request of a colleague for more time to craft an amendment….Sen. Jim Smith of Papillion, the committee chairman, said there has been ample time for members to propose and draft amendments. He set Friday’s executive session after determining there were the minimum number of five votes to advance the bill….Voting to advance were Smith and Sens. Al Davis of Hyannis, Curt Friesen of Henderson, Les Seiler of Hastings and Tommy Garrett of Bellevue. Sen. Beau McCoy joined Murante in casting “no” votes and Sen. Lydia Brasch of Bancroft abstained. http://www.omaha.com/news/legislature/bill-to-permit-driver-s-licenses-for-dreamers-advances-out/article_77e36271-9f20-5a23-b0a5-e89221881a02.html#.VSg9tiRTehU.facebook
RENEWED ACTION ALERT – 4/8/2015 SEND EMAILS!
UPDATE 4/8/2015: Sen. John McCollister said on KFAB this morning that his priority bill now has 25 co-sponsors and believes he has 5 Judiciary Committee votes to advance it to the floor… says Sen. Smith (Chairman) may hold another vote.
BREAKING NEWS: Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert changes her campaign commitment from “…believing everyone should follow the laws….” TO supporting Drivers License for illegal aliens. Maybe Mayor Stothert will give ALL citizens and legal immigrants the same “Get Out Of Jail” card she gives ILLEGAL ALIENS with her Sanctuary Policing authorities REFUSING ICE HOLDS? 402-444-5000. http://www.omaha.com/read-mayor-jean-stothert-s-letter-to-the-legislature-on/pdf_ab7056ca-de49-11e4-a813-4f7ddfd2dbae.html
Original vote by the Transportation/Telecommunications Committee: Abstained: Sens Smith, Brasch, Garrett – Yes: Friesen, Seiler – No: Murante – Absent: Davis, McCoy
3/12 Sen. John McCollister makes LB623 his Priority Bill – which means if it gets advanced from Committee it will be scheduled for debate/vote. 3/18 McCollister adds his name to the bill.
2nd vote by Committee: Voting to advance were Sens. Jim Smith, Al Davis, Curt Friesen, Les Seiler and Tommy Garrett. Sen. Beau McCoy joined Murante in casting “no” votes and Sen. Lydia Brasch abstained.
Updated List of 30 Senators supporting LB 623 = Nebraska’s Hall of SHAME:
John McCollister Laura Ebke Les Seiler Jim Smith Tommy Garrett Kathy Campbell Bob Krist Ken Schilz Jerry Johnson Rick Kolowski Roy Baker Jeremy Nordquist Adam Morfeld John Stinner Matt Williams Matt Hansen Mike Gloor Ken Haar Kate Sullivan Tanya Cook Ernie Chambers Sue Crawford Burke Harr Al Davis Sara Howard Heath Mello Paul Schumacher Patty Pansing-Brooks Curt Friesen Mark Kolterman
SEND YOUR EMAIL TODAY – SAMPLE BELOW:
TO: (YOUR SENATOR’S EMAIL HERE)
SUBJECT: VOTE NO LB623
Dear Transportation and Telecommunications Committee
I strongly encourage you NOT put the interests of illegal alien/Dreamers ahead of citizens and legal immigrants for the many reasonable and legitimate concerns that have already been communicated to you. VOTE NO to LB 623.
I am sincerely disgusted that I have to keep begging and reminding some senators that it’s citizens and legal immigrants they are paid to represent. Any senator who supports LB 623 will NOT get donations or support for their re-election campaign and I will encourage other like-minded voters to do the same.
(Your Name, Address, Phone Number)
Attachment: United States District Court Judge Andrew Hanen’s very thorough 123-page opinion explaining his decision to issue an injunction blocking President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program covers a multitude of legal and factual issues. Here are the five most important points from the decision: 1) The DAPA Program Directly Causes Significant Injury To States 2) Congress Never Created Or Authorized Deferred Action Status 3) There Is A Big Difference Between Executive Discretion And Bestowing Benefits 4) Immigration Officials Have No Discretion In How To Implement DACA/DAPA 5) Preventing The Implementation Of DAPA Preserves The Status Quo http://townhall.com/tipsheet/conncarroll/2015/02/17/5-key-findings-in-opinion-blocking-obamas-amnesty-n1958462
Attachment: Illegal Aliens DISRUPT Congressional Hearing: One protester stood up and yelled, “And we are letting your staff and visitors know that when you attack immigrants you are attacking America. We will continue to be calm and confront you against your anti-immigrant and racist sentiments.” Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) called for Capitol police to remove the protestors. http://www.westernjournalism.com/pro-immigration-protesters-warn-gop-lawmakers-will-confront-racist-sentiments/#y0WIOqp0r5fqm2Kt.97
************* ************** ************* ************
NEBRASKANS – OPPOSE LB 623 Provide Driver’s License to Illegal Alien DREAMERS – Scheduled for Public Hearing Tuesday, March 3, 2015 Rm 1113 @ 1:30 pm. Please make plans now to attend this hearing, prepare your 3 minute testimony and emails/letters. IF YOU CAN NOT ATTEND PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTER/CALL by March 3rd @ 9 A.M. Sample letter and article links shown below.
LB623 – Provide for issuance of motor vehicle operators’ licenses and state ID cards to persons with lawful status
Introduced by Jeremy Nordquist, 7; Roy Baker, 30; Kathy Campbell, 25; Sara Howard, 9; Heath Mello, 5; Paul Schumacher, 22. Patty Pansing-Brooks 29; http://www.nebraskalegislature.gov/FloorDocs/104/PDF/Intro/LB623.pdf
2015 Unicam Transportation and Telecommunications Committee: 402-471-2630
Senators Jim Smith (Chairman) (402) 471-2730 firstname.lastname@example.org Lydia Brasch 402-471- 2728 email@example.com, Al Davis 402-471-2628 firstname.lastname@example.org, Curt Friesen 402-471- 2630 email@example.com, Tommy Garrett 402-471- 2627 firstname.lastname@example.org , Beau McCoy 402-471-2885 email@example.com, John Murante 402-471-2725 firstname.lastname@example.org and Les Seiler 402-471-2712 email@example.com
EXAMPLE OF LETTER: SEND BY MARCH 3rd @ 9 A.M. !! Various article links shown after example letter.
SUBJECT: Enter into Record OPPONENT of LB623
Dear Transportation and Telecommunications Committee:
Please oppose LB 623 which would change our existing DMV driver’s license requirements to allow illegal alien (DREAMERS) driver’s licenses.
1. Would it be a waste of time advancing a bill for debate and vote when the challenge of constitutionality of it is already making its way through the federal court system? A Federal Judge has Temporarily Blocked Obama’s Executive Order Amnesty and an appeal will take it before the 5th Circuit Court. http://news.yahoo.com/federal-judge-stalls-obamas-executive-action-immigration-052549363.html
1a. United States District Court Judge Andrew Hanen’s very thorough 123-page opinion explaining his decision to issue an injunction blocking President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program covers a multitude of legal and factual issues. Here are the five most important points from the decision: 1) The DAPA Program Directly Causes Significant Injury To States 2) Congress Never Created Or Authorized Deferred Action Status 3) There Is A Big Difference Between Executive Discretion And Bestowing Benefits 4) Immigration Officials Have No Discretion In How To Implement DACA/DAPA 5) Preventing The Implementation Of DAPA Preserves The Status Quo http://townhall.com/tipsheet/conncarroll/2015/02/17/5-key-findings-in-opinion-blocking-obamas-amnesty-n1958462
2. Lawsuit challenging Nebraska’s denial of driver’s licenses to….thrown out http://www.omaha.com/news/lawsuit-challenging-nebraska-s-denial-of-driver-s-licenses-to/article_e676672f-3b59-5f7b-90e6-86deb153f0d5.html
3. Will this bill cost Nebraskans for other demands made by illegal alien DREAMERS like it did in Colorado? The Denver Post estimated that the dearth of offices and the state’s decision to offer appointment-only slots to apply for the licenses meant some of the 150,000 in Colorado seeking the licenses would have to wait more than four years. With only one office offering the service, that wait could jump to more than 16 years….The vote denied a DMV request for roughly $166,000 of supplemental funds to continue services at their current level ….Immigrants (ILLEGAL ALIENS) and activists had complained that having only five offices — out of the state’s 56 — was unfair and unworkable. http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_27367544/colorado-gop-leaders-reject-funds-noncitizen-drivers-license
4. Will illegal aliens serve Jury Duty since jurors are selected from DMV and State I.D. registrations? Will there be additional labor costs to verify citizenship – the following illegal alien obviously had a driver’s license fake or stolen…. Dear Atty. Gurfinkel: I just received a jury summon from the County Courthouse, but I am in illegal status (TNT). How did they get my name and address? Do I have to serve on a jury? Will Immigration be able to track me down? Will I be reported to Immigration? How can I get out of serving on a jury? Should I just ignore or throw away the jury summons? I am really worried about this, and have not been able to sleep since I received the jury summons in the mail. Very truly yours, A.S Dear A.S., “……County Courthouses (or the County Office of Jury Commissioner) typically select potential jurors from voter registration lists or DMV records. Since you have not registered to vote (and cannot vote since you are not a U.S. Citizen), it is likely that your name was selected from DMV records. Therefore, as long as a person has driver’s license, his name will be listed on DMV records and his name could come up for jury selection. ….” http://www.gurfinkel.com/imm_updates8.htm
5. Will illegal aliens be able to register to vote with their Driver’s License/State I.D.? The Washington Times – Thursday, February 12, 2015 “…President Obama’s temporary deportation amnesty will make it easier for illegal immigrants to improperly register and vote in elections, state elections officials testified to Congress on Thursday, saying that the driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers they will be granted create a major voting loophole……While stressing that it remains illegal for noncitizens to vote, secretaries of state from Ohio and Kansas said they won’t have the tools to sniff out illegal immigrants who register anyway, ignoring stiff penalties to fill out the registration forms that are easily available at shopping malls, motor vehicle bureaus and in curbside registration drives……Anyone registering to vote attests that he or she is a citizen, but Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said mass registration drives often aren’t able to give due attention to that part, and so illegal immigrants will still get through…” http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/feb/12/obama-amnesty-creates-loophole-for-illegal-immigra/#ixzz3SUnirIId
6. Will Nebraskans be forced to take additional costly measures like Oregon residents? The Oregon Alternative Driver Licenses Referendum, Measure 88 was on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Oregon as a veto referendum, where it was defeated with NO votes 983,576 (66%) YES votes 506,751 (34%). The measure subjected Senate Bill 833 to a popular vote. If it had been upheld, SB 833 would have made four-year driver licenses available to those who cannot prove legal presence in the United States. On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced new steps in immigration reform that would include issuing three-year federal work permits to more than four million eligible illegal immigrants. This action would have the potential to provide the documentation needed for illegal immigrants to obtain drivers’ licenses, regardless of the defeat of Measure 88. The new immigration plans were set to go into effect on February 18, 2015, but were put on hold as a result of a ruling by Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Judge Hanen ruled in favor of Texas and 25 other states that challenged President Obama’s immigration actions. The President has stated that he plans to appeal the ruling and the government continues to prepare to put the actions into effect, although they will not accept any applications until the case is settled. http://ballotpedia.org/Oregon_Alternative_Driver_Licenses_Referendum,_Measure_88_%282014%29
7. Myth Buster: Those who support giving driver cards to illegal aliens claim that having a driver card will then allow illegal aliens to buy auto insurance, reducing the number of uninsured drivers. The fact is: Illegal aliens can already buy car insurance – but most often choose not to, or purchase a short term policy and let it lapse. New Mexico, which has granted driver licenses to illegal aliens since 2003, continues to rank near the top of the list of states with the most uninsured drivers.
The truth is: Ballot Measure 88 states only that “Drivers will need to… follow current Oregon law regarding proof of insurance.” Which refers only to applicants taking the road test – there must be proof of insurance for the car in which they’re tested – that is the only requirement for insurance! An applicant can borrow a car that is insured, take their driving test and walk out the door with a state issued ID – and never purchase car insurance. http://www.protectoregondl.org
8. This is a National Security and Public Safety Issue: Michael Cutler, Senior Special Agent (retired) I.N.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service career spanned some 30 years. Mr. Cutler has also testified before numerous legislative hearings conducted by various states across the United States and has testified as an expert witness at trials where immigration was at issue. He has appeared on major national news programs on most of the major networks and on radio programs across the United States provides a compelling argument against bills like this citing major National Security and Public Safety concerns. … “Providing such documentation (driver privilege cards to illegal aliens) is wrong for a number of reasons beginning with national security and public safety. America’s immigration laws were enacted to achieve two primary goals, protect innocent lives and the jobs of American workers”…….…….In considering the issue of providing driver’s licenses or other such document to illegal aliens, you must take into account that under 8 USC § 1324 – Bringing in and harboring certain aliens, a section of law that is comprehended within the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), it is a felony to aid, abet, encourage or induce aliens to enter our country illegally or remain in our country illegally.
Here is an excerpt from that section of law:
Title 8, U.S.C. § 1324(a) Offenses
Title 8, U.S.C. § 1324(a) defines several distinct offenses related to aliens. Subsection 1324(a) (1)(i)-(v) prohibits alien smuggling, domestic transportation of unauthorized aliens, concealing or harboring unauthorized aliens, encouraging or inducing unauthorized aliens to enter the United States, and engaging in a conspiracy or aiding and abetting any of the preceding acts. Subsection 1324(a)(2) prohibits bringing or attempting to bring unauthorized aliens to the United States in any manner whatsoever, even at a designated port of entry. Subsection 1324(a) (3).
Harboring — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) makes it an offense for any person who — knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals harbors, shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation.
Encouraging/Inducing — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv) makes it an offense for any person who — encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law.
Conspiracy/Aiding or Abetting — Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(v) expressly makes it an offense to engage in a conspiracy to commit or aid or abet the commission of the foregoing offenses.
While at present, so-called “Sanctuary Cities” may not face adverse consequences for violating these laws, it is, in my judgment, clear that issuing identity documents and extending driving privileges to illegal aliens also constitutes violations of the above-noted provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. It is also illegal for an employer to knowingly employ an illegal alien. It is also unfair for employers to hire illegal aliens especially when the current economic hardships, under which all too many American and lawful immigrant workers and their families find themselves today.
I know that one of the often used arguments to justify issuing driver’s licenses or comparable documents to illegal aliens is that these people will drive anyway. Therefore, since they will be on the road, with or without a license, we should give them licenses to help them drive safely and so that they can get insurance.
This is an absurd argument. People will violate all sorts of laws. A visit to any jail will make this point abundantly clear. In point of fact, as I noted when I testified before the New York State Senate a number of years ago, what I said then is just as applicable today, here. Convicted felons often carry firearms, anyway. If the argument for providing illegal aliens with a driver’s license is out of an acceptance that they will drive anyway, then there should be a comparable acceptance of the fact that convicted felons will carry firearms anyway thus these convicted felons should be provided with firearms training and carry permits. This would improve the accuracy of these individuals meaning that they would be less likely to hit an innocent bystander in a shootout and perhaps they could be persuaded to use trigger locks when they are not carrying their weapons.
Obviously my statement about felons and firearms is being made with my tongue firmly embedded in my cheek. However, it is essential to understand that ceding commonsense and rule of law to millions of law violators who pose a threat to public safety and the well-being of Americans is just as absurd…..” http://www.protectoregondl.org/endorsers/michael-w-cutler-endorser
Senators, there are too many legitimate concerns why this bill should not be advanced. Let the liability and financial burden of getting DREAMER workers to and from work be the responsibility of their employers OR let them take public transportation, ride a bike or walk the same way many citizens and LEGAL immigrants do everyday. Please oppose it.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
(Your Name, address & Phone #)
RELATED ARTICLE LINKS
Jeremy Nordquist introduces bill to give driver’s license to illegal alien (Dreamers).
LINCOLN — Nebraska could join 49 other states in granting driver’s licenses to many young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally but allowed to stay in the country.
State Sen. Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha introduced a bill Wednesday to roll back former Gov. Dave Heineman’s policy of denying driver’s licenses to immigrants brought to the country illegally when they were children. Nebraska is the only state that withholds licenses for young adults accepted into a 2012 federal immigration program that allows them to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation.
At a State Capitol press conference, Nordquist was surrounded by young immigrants who hold jobs or attend college in Nebraska, but can’t drive to work or school.
“Why would we want to limit their abilities to work and contribute to our economy,” Nordquist asked.
Nordquist not only will have to try to win passage for the bill, he will need to convince Gov. Pete Ricketts to change Nebraska’s approach. Ricketts has said he supports the policy started by Heineman, who argued state law prohibits illegal immigrants from receiving public benefits.
Nordquist said he expects to have a number of co-sponsors for the bill.
The Nebraska Cattlemen came out in support of the bill Wednesday because the beef industry has a demand for more workers who need to drive to do their jobs, said Kristen Hassebrook, spokeswoman for the group.
President Barack Obama ordered the Department of Homeland Security to start the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program nearly three years ago despite an outcry from opponents of illegal immigration.
Heineman ordered the State Department of Motor Vehicles to deny licenses to deferred action applicants, arguing that the state should not provide public benefits to immigrants lacking lawful status. The DMV then carried out the policy statewide, according to an amended complaint filed last week by the three plaintiffs who have sued Heineman and the DMV.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska has challenged the Nebraska policy in court on behalf of immigrants who’ve been denied driver’s licenses.
Lawyers for the ACLU argue that the governor violated the Nebraska Constitution by ordering a policy change without properly giving notice and holding public hearings. They also say the policy violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution by treating deferred action permit recipients differently from “similarly situated non-U.S. citizens” who apply for and receive licenses.
Applicants to the federal program must have come to the U.S. before they turned 16, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, be in school or have graduated from high school or a GED program, or have served in the military. Contact the writer: 402-473-9587, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nebraska’s two-year-old policy of denying driver licenses to a select group of young immigrants faces fresh scrutiny in the courts and from members of the state legislature in coming weeks. http://netnebraska.org/article/news/931233/immigrant-driver-license-issue-set-clash-nebraska-court-and-legislature
An estimated 2000 Nebraska residents with a specific immigration status remain unable to get a driver’s license and it’s unlikely Gov. Dave Heineman will change the policy during his remaining months in office. Nebraska is the only state blocking some children of undocumented immigrants from getting their licenses. A 2012 change in federal immigration policy, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), provided temporary work permits and Social Security cards to a group of immigrants brought to the country by their parents.
“They had to be younger than 16 when they arrived,” said Creighton University economics professor Diana Thomas, who studies the issue. Thomas says a successful DACA applicant will “basically be exempted from deportation for a two year period of time.”
Itzel and Maria Marquez at the Department of Motor Vehicles in South Omaha last February, accompanied by their attorney (L) Amy Miller. (Photo: ACLU)
With tens of thousands of immigrant children graduating from high school and college, the Obama administration felt children brought here by parents would not likely be deported en masse and would likely enter the American workforce, one way or another. “It’s a law that was supposed to make it a little bit easier for this particular part of the immigrant population to become productive members of society,” explained Thomas.
The policy of the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles singles out the DACA participants as being ineligible for a driver’s license, even if other categories of immigrants are allowed to legally drive.
The state’s policy is being challenged in Lancaster County District Court. The lawsuit was filed by four individuals, ranging from ages 23 to 17, who came to the United States as children with parents who did not secure proper immigration documentation. The complaint filed in District Court argues the rule “places severe and often insurmountable burdens” on their ability to get and keep jobs “as well as on their ability to fully contribute to their communities, assist their families, and accomplish everyday tasks.”
Itzel Marquez, a 17-year-old graduate of Omaha South High School, added her name to the lawsuit, stating the policy “is not fair.”
“Every other state lets them get licenses and we are the only state that doesn’t allow that,” Itzel said. “Why can’t we be like everyone else?” Nebraska became the only state to retain the restriction after a federal judge in Arizona declared that state’s rule unconstitutional. Arizona withdrew the policy.
Maria Marquez, Itzel’s 20-year-old sister, attends the University of Nebraska at Omaha and works in a law office. She calls the state’s decision “a slap in the face” since the intent of the federal policy was to encourage this segment of the immigrant population to get educated and earn a living while America reworks its immigration regulations.
“I’ve been given Social Security. I’ve been given a work permit. I can’t get a driver’s license,” Maria said. “That didn’t feel good at all.”
When the U.S. Department of Homeland Security implemented DACA in 2012, Governor Heineman issued an executive order authorizing the DMV to change its rules. In a press release issued at the time the Governor stated:
“President Obama’s deferred action program to issue employment authorization documents to illegal immigrants does not make them legal citizens. The State of Nebraska will continue its practice of not issuing driver’s licenses, welfare benefits or other public benefits to illegal immigrants unless specifically authorized by Nebraska statute.”
The lawsuit, filed for the four plaintiffs by the American Civil Liberties Union, says not only does the policy violate the spirit of the federal mandate, but it was implemented without the approval of the state legislature or a public hearing which, they argue, should have taken place in this case.
There is also a call from some in the Nebraska State Legislature to drop the restriction. State Senator Jeremy Nordquist, representing Omaha, plans to introduce a bill clearing the way to provide licenses for those approved for the DACA status. The issue attracted support from the Nebraska Cattlemen Association. The group represents member ranches and feedlots which on occasion hire immigrants. The association has previously joined other business and trade organizations in calling for an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws.
Kristen Hassebrook, speaking for the Association, told the Omaha World-Herald “If they don’t have valid driver’s licenses, not only are they not able to get to work, but they are unable to drive at work. That leaves the employer open to a lot of liability.”
Other businesses have an interest in putting those with DACA status to work, according to Thomas with Creighton University’s Economic Institute at the Heider College of Business.
“They would be able to hold down a job, go to work every day, pay taxes and just be productive members of society,” said Thomas. “Making it difficult for people to get to work means you are giving them a choice between either not working and being dependent on others or driving illegally,” Thomas said, “and we don’t want either one of those things.”
The Marquez sisters, who occasionally drive without a valid license, wish they did not have to break the law for the sake of getting to and from their classes and jobs.
“It’s a really big deal,” said Itzel. “If you don’t have your license you could get in serious trouble, especially if you weren’t born here.”
Her sister Maria adds it’s also “the little things” like providing an I.D. when returning something to a store or getting a car loan that can go from bothersome to impossible without an official state form of identification.
When explaining all the ways the rule affects her daily life, Maria’s voice cracks and eyes tear up.
“It was just unbelievable to think that this is my home and I can’t do stuff” that is commonplace for other residents, she said.
“I told my dad, I understand why the policy is here, but still just hurts every rejection I get.”
Luis Marquez with his daughters, Maria and Itzel, on the porch of their home. (Photo: Bill Kelly/NET News)
Her father, Luis Marquez, a maintenance worker who helped pay for Maria’s college tuition, shares his daughter’s frustration. He speaks some English, but preferred to have her translate when he talked to a visitor.
“This simple plastic card is the key,” Luis said. “They can drive. They can get credit from the bank. Without it you have to watch out for yourself and be alert.” Having lived in Nebraska for more than 16 years without necessary documentation, Luis also drives without a Nebraska license.