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Rights Groups Want Virginia to Grant Licenses to Work Permit Holders

Nashville, TN. A crowd gathers outside of Steve McNair's apartment after learning of his death. (AP Photo/Josh Anderson)

Nashville, TN. A crowd gathers outside of Steve McNair's apartment after learning of his death. (AP Photo/Josh Anderson)

A coalition of Latino and rights groups wants the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to accept federal work permits as proof of legal immigration status when someone is applying for a driver's license.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations released Thursday a letter endorsed by 67 organizations making the request to the DMV. 

The agency quit accepting Employee Authorization Documents as proof of legal status after a Bolivian immigrant twice convicted of drunken driving was involved in a car crash that killed one nun and injured two others. 

Authorities said the man had used the federal work permit to get a state ID card even though he was facing deportation.

Critics say the DMV failed to consider the far reach of its decision on legally present immigrants.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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