I wrote here recently that the federal authorities’ stats on the number of illegals living in Georgia with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals amnesty status was wildly different from what Georgia’s Department of Driver Services told state Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus had been issued a Georgia drivers license.
We have solved part of that mystery.
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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services put out a report on Sept. 4 saying there are 21,600 DACA recipients in Georgia. DDS responded to an inquiry from Sen. McKoon that they had issued more than 48,000 drivers licenses to DACA winners.
As I wrote, the intention was to create some interest in the disparity — and the fact that DACA illegal aliens are issued the same drivers license as legal immigrants and guest workers.
To my knowledge, neither the Georgia news media nor most in state government were curious enough to pursue this one. So we did.
Bottom line: DDS answered a question that was not asked.
The question from Sen. McKoon: “How many drivers licenses were issued to aliens with DACA since July 1, 2012 as of July 31, 2017? How many ID Cards, same time frame?”
The answer from DDS: “a query of our main frame on Aug. 7-8, based on your request, reflects that DDS has issued 48,935 drivers licenses and 8,705 Georgia ID cards to non-citizens who are under DACA status where the SAVE response code was 188 (DACA -Employment Authorized).”
Seems pretty clear here. But it’s not. When nobody else did, we asked Susan Sports, DDS Public Information Officer about the difference.
Her October 13 reply:
“The numbers reported were in response to a very specific request. Our numbers include the number of issuances over a span of five years to DACA recipients which also includes multiple issuances to individuals who may have sought renewals, address changes, or replacement for lost licenses. Therefore our numbers would naturally differ from USCIS because we have measured our numbers by issuance events. I hope this is helpful.”
It is helpful. But the DDS original answer was to a question that was not asked and the cause of the confusion.
All is not solved. If the governor isn’t going to do it, why the Republican-controlled state Legislature does not change the fact that DDS gives the same drivers license to illegal aliens who have their deportation deferred that it issues to legal immigrants and guest workers is still a mystery to most Georgians.
D.A. King is a long-time, pro-enforcement activist in Georgia and president of the Dustin Inman Society.