Latino USA

Dreaming to Drive / by Maria Hinojosa | June 6, 2014

Dreaming to Drive

Not being able to drive in a spread-out place like Nebraska is very hard– especially if you are a teen.

Nebraska is one of two states that deny driver’s licenses to youth with DACA status (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival), best known as the DREAMers. The other is Arizona. That means that DACA recipients are legally allowed to live and work in the US, but in Nebraska, they aren’t legally allowed to get behind the wheel  – to get to work or school, for example.

But just because they don’t have drivers licenses, doesn’t mean they don’t drive. A group of DREAMers from Omaha agreed to meet with Latino USA to talk about their predicament. They told us that almost everyone drives, with or without permission. That means risking getting pulled over and getting a big ticket or even their car impounded for driving without a licence.

Many Nebraska DREAMers, alternatively, use a fake address to get a license in Iowa. But even that comes with its own host of complications. They worry that if they are caught committing fraud, it could put that at risk in the future, for example when it’s time to renew their DACA status.

Overall, their inability to get driver’s licenses is just another thing that reminds them, “You’re not a normal teenager.”

Listen to the DREAMers’ stirring testimonies on this segment.

Photo by Flickr user Kevin Staff


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