TUCSON, Ariz. – Fewer than half of the young immigrants who now qualify for Arizona driver's licenses have actually obtained them.
About 20,000 young people who are part of a federal program that protects them from deportation and assigns them a Social Security number qualify for licenses, but the state Department of Transportation says only about 6,700 of them have obtained one.
Arizona is among the last states to allow immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to get licenses. In January, a federal judge issued a permanent injunction against a state policy denying so-called DREAMers licenses, although the state is appealing that ruling.
Advocates say misinformation is to blame, in part, for the low turnout. But in states like Colorado and California, immigrants who are now eligible for licenses have turned out in high numbers.