Woman denied driver's license after federal program put in place

Updated:

DULUTH, Ga. - A woman brought to the U.S. by her parents has been waiting for weeks to get her driver's license under a new immigration program.

The state said it was surprised by how quickly the Federal Deferred Deportation program kicked in and the computers weren't ready.

So far, Channel 2 Action News has learned of at least two people who've had their attempts to get licenses delayed for weeks because of the glitch.

Rita Avalos, 21, helps her brother out around his Duluth auto shop waiting for the day she said she can be truly independent and pursue her dream.

She told Channel 2's Tony Thomas she's ready to stop working around cars and drive one to protect her adopted country.

"Since I was little I always said I wanted to come here and be a police officer," Avalos told Thomas.

Avalos was one of the first Georgians accepted under the Obama administrations Deferred Action program for young immigrants brought here by their parents.

But her federal paperwork got approved a lot sooner than the Georgia Department of Driver Services computer programs were updated to clear her and other previously banned immigrants to get a license.

Three times she's either been bounced back to the feds or told to come back in a couple of weeks.

"They just put a stop on everything for me and I waited long enough," Avalos said.

A state spokesperson admitted the problem in an email to Thomas, saying, "There is some programming that has to be done on both sides (DDS and DHS). That programming is in the final testing stages and should be available for these customers next week. "

Avalos is hopeful, but not so confident.

"I don't know what to do and what to expect anymore," Avalos said.

Drivers Services spokeswoman Susan Sports told Thomas the department doesn't exactly know how many deferred action participants to expect when the program kicks into full gear but does not expect lines to be over run.



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