Dozens protest outside DMV over licenses

More than two dozen young Hispanic men and women protested outside the state Department of Transportation's headquarters Tuesday -- still reeling from the DMV's decision to stop issuing licenses to those granted temporary legal status under President Barack Obama's administration.

January 22, 2013 10:48:41 AM PST
Supporters of granting illegal immigrants driver's licenses rallied in Raleigh Tuesday.

More than two dozen young Hispanic men and women protested outside the state Department of Transportation's headquarters -- still reeling from the DMV's decision to stop issuing licenses to those granted temporary legal status under President Barack Obama's administration.

"We want our license back. We want our license back," they chanted.

We need them back," said Rico Benavides with NC DREAM Team. "This is discrimination from the state and we're not going to stand by it. We're going to be here picketing, we're going to be here protesting, and we're going to make that clear to our legislators that this is not cool."

The DREAM Team is an "organization composed of undocumented immigrant youth and allies," according to the group's website .

The DMV was waiting for legal advice from the state -- and got it when the Attorney General's office directed them to issue the licenses. However, the licenses are still on hold.

"We were getting the driver's licenses just fine," Benavides said. "They just changed it when the new administration came into power. It is not a coincidence and we will call that out."

"This will directly affect me if something happens, because you're going to give us a work permit but not give us the opportunity to drive to our job? What are we supposed to do," protester Cynthia Martinez said.

"It was very sad when I found out I couldn't get my driver's license," another protester added. "I am a mother and to me it's very hard to see when my child is sick, she is a US citizen, I can't even take her to the doctor, I can't go grocery shopping for us to survive."

The governor's office has only said the DMV is reviewing the Attorney General's ruling.

In the meantime, the president of the NC NAACP has pledged the group's full support to protesters.

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