As if the seizure of driver's licenses already issued to DACA recipients and other beneficiaries of federal immigration Deferred Action (such as battered women, victims of crimes, and those whose removal is not the national interest) is not enough, SB-6 also gives no legitimate reason why these noncitizens should be deprived of their legal right to drive, as opposed to allowing other noncitizens, including those who also have "lawful presence," but which the bill confuses with "lawful status."
SB-6's provisions related to the seizure of driver's licenses are found in Section 4. This section tries to modify the terms of Georgia's acceptance of the Identification provisions of the REAL ID Act of 2005 by deleting the authorization to provide state issued identification to persons with "Approved deferred action status." The simple reality is that the State of Georgia was required to adopt ALL of the provisions of the REAL ID to have state issued identifications to remain valid for travel and other federal purposes. By striking this provision in an attempt to seize currently issued driver's licenses, the state legislature would render ALL Georgia identifications invalid for all purposes, including for travel and driving outside the state's borders.
SB-6 also attempts to be too clever by half, by changing the wording of "lawful presence" to "lawful status" throughout the Georgia Code Section (40-5-21.1) authorizing the issuance of state identifications or licenses. Its obvious that no attorney who understands federal immigration law advised the writer of this bill about the effect of doing so. The word "status" in the context of deferred action is defined within The REAL ID Act itself, wherein (as in current Georgia law) it is referred to as "deferred action status."
In much the same way that the ultimately futile and useless (but economically harmful) HB-87 tried to define the non-existent, yet intentionally inflammatory term "illegal alien." SB-6 attempts to define "lawful alien status." Unfortunately for the authors of SB-6, a term such as this can only be defined by the federal government, which enjoys complete authority over immigration law. The State of Arizona found that out the hard way (as did the State of Georgia), when the US Supreme Court shut down its anti-immigration legislation in Arizona v. United States, 567 U.S. ___ (2012). In that case, Supreme Court clearly stated that: "[f]ederal governance of immigration and alien status is extensive and complex." The Georgia State Legislature cannot define its way into a constitutionally valid seizure of drivers licenses.
SB-6 also does things like:
- give the DDS the right to obtain "DNA" and "retinal scans" from any individual it wishes before giving them a ID or a driver's license,
- release personal information of ALL noncitizens to any government agency for any reason,
- taking fingerprints for all noncitizen licenses (including lawful permanent residents),
- require sworn affidavit to verify status,
- increase the fines for driving without a license to punitive levels (for everyone),
- allow for seizure of vehicles and impounding for 60 days of any vehicle driven by a driver without a license (for everyone and regardless of the vehicles owner), and
- require the DDS to participate in the "E-Verify" initiative for DMVs (effectively giving EVERY Georgian's Picture and ID to the federal government for use in E-Verify, effectively creating a national ID for Georgia residents (but not anyone else).
- All with NO funding allocated to carry out any of these tasks.