MVA Worker Under Investigation In License Scheme
A Latino group is outraged that 200 people in their community had their drivers licenses suddenly revoked, even though they'd done nothing wrong.
Suzanne Collins reports there are concerns about racial profiling.
In June 200 Latinos who had Maryland driver's licenses or identification cards got letters saying they had been revoked. An ACLU lawyer looking into the problem says the action was tied to a fraudulent investigation involving an MVA employee. The now dismissed worker had been on the job for years and processed a lot of driver's licenses.
"It's not clear to us how MVA picked those 200 licenses from the potential thousands of applications he worked on and most of those people came from Latin American countries," said Ajmel Quereshi, spokesperson for ACLU attorney.
The lawyer wrote the MVA explaining that the Supreme Court has ruled you can't take someone's drivers license without a hearing. MVA has backed off now, saying it will temporarily reinstate people, but they must come in with the proper documentation by August 10.
Casa De Maryland says it has been a great concern for those affected.
"The inconvenience, I've heard particularly a mother who received this letter, she was very worried, because she has children with special needs who go to therapy and what was she going to do," said Piedramartel.
The Latino group finds it odd that the revocation notices come just as new law takes effect, barring people from getting a Maryland license if they are in this country illegally.
A fells point restaurant owner says its discrimination and people could lose jobs.
"It's really hard. The Spanish people need the license for driving for work, for the economy," said Fernando Arce, business owner.
The MVA insists its standard policy to revoke a license if it may have been granted in error, saying it isn't race based. It won't comment on the criminal investigation.
"All I can tell you about this investigation is it's a sealed investigation and it would be inappropriate to speak about it at this time," Buell Young, MVA spokesperson.
The ACLU says it might take further legal action, once it sees if the licenses are reinstated.