Citizenship News

Lawsuit over confiscated/defaced/withheld naturalization certificates

Looks like a naturalization certificate isn't proof enough of legal status for some state bureaucrats...(so, no licenses for people with accents?)

Biased State DMV Destroys Naturalization Papers and Other ID, Class Claims

    NASHVILLE (CN) - In a federal class action, a naturalized citizen claims the Tennessee DMV confiscated and defaced her naturalization documents when she tried to get a driver's license, because of her ethnicity. Diana Mata Cuellar wants the Tennessee Department of Safety and Hamblen County DMV enjoined from subjecting other people to this.
     Mata Cuellar claims the Hamblen County DMV confiscated and defaced her citizenship documents because of baseless suspicions they were bogus. She claims this is a TDS "policy": "subjecting foreign-born applicants to a burden-shifting requirement that they act affirmatively to prevent the destruction of their valid naturalization certificates or other valid identification."
     She also claims that TDS keeps "naturalization certificates or other identification documents for unreasonable periods of time beyond what is necessary for verification purposes," and that it does not train its agents properly.
     She seeks declaratory judgment, an injunction, and compensatory and punitive damages for civil rights violations. She is represented by Elliott Ozment. 

Posted: to Citizenship News on Thu, Jul 1, 2010
Updated: Fri, Jul 9, 2010

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