SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – Some young people who currently reside in California illegally will soon be eligible for driver’s licences if they successfully enroll in President Barack Obama’s new work permit program, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

The San Diego Union Tribune reports that the decision to issue the licenses, which has not been formally announced, is drawing opposition from Republican lawmakers, some of whom claim it raises a national security risk.

DMV officials say California law allows the issuing of drivers licences to people with valid employment authorization, which are available in addition to the deportation deferrals.

“Our people who specialize in this — they looked at the rules. They consulted with our legal office and they made the decision,” DMV spokesman Armando Botello told the Union Tribune.

The Obama administration’s program allows illegal immigrants under 30 to avoid deportation if they can prove they were brought to the U.S. before they turned 16. They must also meet several other requirements, which include having no criminal history. The order would defer deportations for two years. The federal government began accepting applications for the program earlier this week.

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