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Adjustment of status not needed to drive in another state

Immigrants in Florida and across the country may be interested to learn that another state has enacted new policies that may affect those living there under an undocumented status. In the state in question, it is now legal for immigrants to apply for a driver's license, even if they have not been granted an adjustment of status, meaning, their paperwork is not in good standing. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are reportedly not happy about the recent developments, stating that they believe it is placing public safety at risk and undermining the efforts of the U.S. government regarding immigration law.

The official may have said this because part of the new policies have essentially blocked ICE from accessing certain resources, which, in the past, made it easy to track people who lacked proper immigration paperwork. The new Green Light Law states that federal officers can no longer access information at the Department of Motor Vehicles unless a court orders the DMV officials to hand the information over. A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that this will likely be detrimental to the missions of the CBP and ICE.

In the past, CBP or ICE officials could quickly access the information database at the DMV. This allowed them to review any file of any vehicle registration holder. In turn, the information often came in handy during traffic stops or other law enforcement activities. Under the Green Light Law in New York, information access is now denied except under court order.

A prior law prohibited immigrants without appropriate paperwork from applying for drivers' licenses in New York. Florida does not currently permit immigrants who cannot show evidence of proper paperwork to apply for driving privileges. However, a driver's license is not required in this state to register a vehicle. Anyone facing legal issues regarding adjustment of status or driving privileges in connection with immigration can discuss the issue with an experienced immigration law attorney.

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