Salvadoran woman under TPS gets her driver's license renewed

I am very happy to inform you that yesterday Susy Alvarez, a Salvadoran girl whom I helped for free, got her driver's license renewed.

I met Susy at the Consulate General of El Salvador in Los Angeles, where I periodically give free consultations to people in need. When I met with her last Friday, she told me what was happening to her and I immediately took action. Five days later, I got the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to recognize her mistake and give her a temporary driver's license while she was waiting for her permanent license.

Susy is one of many victims who I have discovered were denied renewal of their license after the September 9 deadline passed. This is the date when the employment authorization document granted to Salvadorans under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program expired. But that document was automatically extended by the U.S. government until March 9, 2011. However, the DMV refused to recognize the validity of the permit.

Susy needed to be able to drive because she works nights and has to take her brother to school. She went three times to the DMV office in Pomona, and three times she was told that she did not have a valid document to apply for the renewal of her driver's license. An account of her story and the problems immigrants are facing under the recent extension of TPS was published in the newspaper La Opinión. Here you can read his story.

Like her, there are many cases. Clients of mine in Missouri and North Carolina have informed me that the same thing is happening there. The important thing is to know what your rights are and find someone to help you.

Above all, I want to thank Susy for having the courage to stand up to the authorities who were unjustly denying her driver's license and exercise her rights.

Congratulations, Susy!