Virginia is no longer allowing federal work permit cards to prove someone’s legal status when obtaining driver’s licenses or identification cards after a fatal crash involving a Benedictine nun and a Bolivian man, accused of drunk driving, who immigrated to the U.S. illegally, the Washington Post reports. The state motor vehicle department changed its policy to remove the federal government’s I-766 permit from the list of documents that can be used to demonstrate “proof of legal presence.” A spokeswoman called last month’s death of Sister Denise Mosier, 66, the “catalyst” for the change. Carlos Martinelly-Montano, 23, is accused of swerving into the path of a vehicle carrying Mosier and two other nuns on their way to a retreat.
Martinelly-Montano, who had entered the U.S. illegally at age 8 with his parents, had been awaiting a deportation hearing after convictions for drunken driving in 2007 and 2008. Immigrant advocacy groups decried the move as a political overreaction. “From a legal point of view, it’s just plain stupid,” said Crystal Williams of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “There are so many people who are here legally, and that’s the only documentation they are able to produce.”