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Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Governor's Task Force on Driver Licensing to Meet at SU

SALISBURY, MD---Bienvenidos a Delmarva, an initiative of the Business, Economic and Community Outreach Network (BEACON) at Salisbury University, hosts the Eastern Shore meeting of the Maryland Governor’s Task Force to Study Driver Licensing Documentation 3:30-6:30 p.m. Monday, June 28, in the Worcester Room of the Commons. According to Dr. Memo Diriker, director of BEACON, transportation is one of the highest priority issues for Delmarva’s rapidly growing immigrant population. Lack of adequate transportation makes it difficult for the region’s private and public sector organizations to connect with their immigrant employees, customers and clients. Public transportation on the Shore is in its early stages of development and has significant resource limitations. The inability of many immigrants to obtain a driver’s license compounds this issue, Dr. Diriker said. The task force is coming to the Eastern Shore to seek public input on the following 10 initiatives related to driver licensing documentation and security issues as directed by the Maryland General Assembly in House Bill 838: Study domestic and foreign documentation that proves the age of an applicant for a driver’s license; Study domestic and foreign documentation that proves the identity of an applicant for a driver’s license; Study domestic and foreign documentation that proves the residence of an applicant for a driver’s license; Assess the extent to which individuals who reside within the State as documented or undocumented immigrants may not be issued drivers’ licenses because of current requirements for providing documentation in an application for a driver’s license; Quantify the extent to which individuals in the State who do not have drivers’ licenses because of the lack of valid documentation necessary for applications for the licenses actually drive on the highways in the State; Study the potential security risks posed by providing identity documents to individuals residing in the State notwithstanding violation of the Federal Immigration and Nationality Act by the individuals; Assess the feasibility, including the cost, of developing a process for the Motor Vehicle Administration, in consultation with the Maryland State Police, to review driver’s license applications by applicants from foreign countries to determine whether the applicant poses a danger to homeland security because of the applicant’s membership or association with a foreign terrorist organization designated on the Terrorist Exclusion List by the United States Secretary of State under the authority of ß 411 of the USA Patriot Act of 2001 (8 U.S.C. ß 1182); Assess the feasibility, including the cost, of developing a process for the Motor Vehicle Administration, in consultation with the Maryland State Police, to review drivers’ license applications to determine whether the applicant poses a danger to public safety because of the applicant’s membership or association with a domestic terrorist organization; Assess the feasibility, including the cost, of developing a process for the Motor Vehicle Administration to review driver’s license application documentation verified by a foreign embassy or other foreign national representative within the United States; and Make recommendations to the General Assembly regarding the documentation that the Motor Vehicle Administration may accept for the purpose of proving the age, identity, and residence of a driver’s license applicant. Law enforcement officials, business community representatives and government officials have been invited to help the Task Force gather input on these issues. The meeting is open to the public. For more information call 410-546-6001 or visit the BEACON Web site, http://beacon.salisbury.edu.

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