DPS prevented from enforcing new license rules

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A judge in Austin today blocked the Department of Public Safety from enforcing rules that bar some legal immigrants from getting driver's licenses and ID cards.

The judge says DPS acted outside its scope of authority. She issued a temporary injunction sought by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

DPS did not immediately comment.

MALDEF sued on behalf of 5 people with permission to work in the U.S. and a Lewisville landscaping business that employs seasonal foreign workers through a federal program.

MALDEF said its clients needed to drive for their jobs, but couldn't get a license under the new policies because their visas are valid for only 10 months.

Under the rules, DPS denies ID cards and licenses to people who have visas that are valid for less than one year. The agency also changed the way IDs look for people who aren't U.S. citizens or permanent residents, but have permission to live in America.