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Posted: 2:54 a.m. Monday, Nov. 5, 2012

Illegal immigrant: GA driver’s license discriminates

By Sandra Parrish

Gwinnett County —

The Georgia Supreme Court will hear arguments today from an attorney of an illegal immigrant who says the state's driver's license law discriminates against those here illegally.

Fernando Castillo-Solis, who is a Mexican citizen, has lived in the U.S. for ten years. He  was charged in Gwinnett County in 2010 with driving without a license and failure to register his vehicle.

He claims the law that requires motorists who have lived in Georgia for 30 days or more get a state-issued license before driving discriminates against illegal immigrants because they are not entitled to a license.

"Georgia law bars undocumented residents from securing a driver’s license, so the narrow issue in the case is, is the no-license law constitutional," says WSB legal analyst and UGA law professor Ron Carlson. 

But Carlson says prosecutors have the advantage going in because they have the support of a duly passed law of the legislature behind them.

He says the defense will also argue the law is a smoke screen to stop, arrest, and deport Mexican nationals or other undocumented workers.

The Court is expected to rule by March 30.

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