August 20, 2019

Cortez Masto Demands Fix to System Error Preventing Nevada TPS Recipients from Renewing Driver’s Licenses

Reno, Nev.– U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) urging them to fix an issue preventing TPS holders in Nevada from renewing or receiving their driver’s licenses. Currently, the USCIS Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) System is erroneously showing the administration’s original TPS cancellation date, despite the fact that the deadline has been extended. This error has forced the Nevada DMV to deny driver’s license renewals to immigrants who should be eligible.

“This oversight of a critical immigration verification system is unacceptable and could negatively impact thousands of TPS holders who need their licenses for their day-to-day lives, not just to drive but to board planes, show eligibility for state services, and interact with businesses,” said Cortez Masto. “This also threatens public safety by increasing the likelihood that drivers are on the road without a valid license.”

A full copy of the letter can be found HERE and below:

Dear Acting Secretary McAleenan and Acting Director Cuccinelli:

I write today with an urgent concern regarding Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients who are unable to obtain or renew their driver’s licenses in my home state of Nevada. According to recent news reports, this issue is occurring because the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) verifies lawful status through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) System. The system erroneously shows the administration’s original TPS cancellation date, rather than the extended deadline, forcing the Nevada DMV to deny driver’s license renewals to immigrants who should be eligible. 

More than 6,000 Nevadans currently have TPS. TPS recipients have legal status in the U.S. and should be able to receive or renew their driver’s licenses and other state identification without issue. This oversight of a critical immigration verification system is unacceptable and could negatively impact thousands of TPS holders who need their licenses for their day-to-day lives, not just to drive but to board planes, show eligibility for state services, and interact with businesses. This also threatens public safety by increasing the likelihood that drivers are on the road without a valid license.

I hope this matter will be addressed as soon as possible. Please contact my staff with status updates and an estimated resolution date. I appreciate your expeditious response to this issue.

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