Raleigh, N.C. — A plan to give some illegal immigrants specially designed driver's licenses is attracting opposition from some lawmakers.
House Bill 184 would require that licenses issued to people in the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program "shall not be distinguishable in any manner from other licenses."
State transportation officials have said that the Division of Motor Vehicles will start issuing driver’s licenses and ID cards on March 25 to DACA participants. The program blocks deportation of and grants work permits to those who were brought to the country illegally as young children.
The DMV said the licenses would be vertical instead of horizontal, would bear a bright pink strip across the top instead of dark blue and would have the phrase "No Lawful Status" imprinted on them. The licenses also would expire on the date that a person's deferred-action status ends.
The American Civil Liberties Union has complained that the DACA participants are essentially being given second-class licenses, but Gov. Pat McCrory maintains that the licenses must be clearly marked to prevent the bearers from accessing government services or registering to vote.
A group of Democratic House members filed the new bill, including Reps. Deborah Ross and Rose Gill of Wake County, Paul Luebke of Durham County, Verla Insko of Orange County, Deb McManus of Chatham County and Rick Glazier and Marvin Lucas of Cumberland County.