by Tanvir Toy
It’s my dream to drive across the United States when I get Deferred Action from the U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Service. I’ve been in New York since I was 8-years-old, and I’ve traveled up and down the East Coast with others at the wheel. I can’t drive because I’m undocumented and don’t have a license. But because I live in New York, a state that will give licenses to those of us who get a two year work permit, I’m excited about all the possibilities.
But it makes me angry to read about how states like Arizona and Nebraska are treating young immigrants. Both states won’t give driver’s licenses to those in their states who came to this country before they were 16-years-old and receive Deferred Action, even if they take the tests and pass.
I don’t understand. Most of these kids feel American, act American, dream American and the federal government checked them out. So why not? Is it just meanness? I’m sure that driving will help a lot of people get to work where they will earn money and contribute to the economy. What’s wrong with that?
Those of you who drive already probably take it for granted. But for someone like me driving is like owning a home in America. It gives you a real sense of belonging and of fulfilling part of the American dream. That’s why I think by refusing to give young immigrants who could pass the tests licenses, Arizona and Nebraska are not only denying a fundamental right, they are denying freedom.
If you can’t afford the Deferred Action fee there is now a no interest loan to help you pay it. Watch the video No Interest Loan for Deferred Action and find out what to do.