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Nevada to issue Dreamers driver's licenses

Nov. 29, 2012 at 4:08 PM

CARSON CITY, Nev., Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Illegal immigrants brought to the country as children who were granted a reprieve by President Barack Obama are eligible to get a driver's license in Nevada.

Obama signed an executive order earlier this year barring deportations and granted a pathway to citizenship for children brought to America illegally by their parents, but who have since graduated high school, stayed out of legal trouble and gotten a job or joined the military. Now, Nevada officials said those same individuals, numbering as many as 20,000 people in The Silver State alone, can legally drive, The Las Vegas Sun reported Thursday.

Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, said he supports the measure though at least one Republican state legislator said he wants lawmakers to revisit the issue when they return next year.

For the so-called "dreamers" the ability to drive themselves without fear of being stopped, identified as illegal and deported is potentially life changing. Many illegal immigrants rely on help from friends with valid driver's licenses, pay to have documents forged on their behalf or rely solely on public transportation and walking long distances in the desert sun.

Astrid Silva, 24, one of the many young people who qualify under Obama's proclamation, said the thought of driving herself is overwhelming.

"I'll be learning to drive soon," she said. "It's a huge deal."

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