Raleigh, N.C. — Rep. Mark Brody, R-Union, and three fellow Republicans have filled a bill that would put a moratorium on a state program that issues licenses to some drivers who are in the U.S. illegally.
State transportation officials have announced they will start issuing driver’s licenses and ID cards on March 25 to some people who entered the country illegally. Created by a presidential executive order, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program blocks deportation of and grants work permits to those who were brought to the country illegally as young children.
House Bill 141 would put the state license program on hold until at least June 15.
"The executive order is controversial," Brody said Thursday morning. "We had no say in it."
The legislature, he said, should have time to study the matter and submit bills address the program.
One possibility, he said, would be that supporters of the program might file a bill to redesign the license. As currently announced, identity cards issued to those in the DACA program would be vertical, expire on the date their deferral period ends and carry a message indicating that it confers no legal status upon the holder.
“North Carolina should not be making it harder for aspiring citizens to integrate and contribute to our communities by branding them with a second-class driver’s license,” Raul Pinto, a lawyer with the ACLU, said in a news release.
The release wasn't issued in response to the pending legislation.
The moratorium, Brody said, could also give opponents of issuing the special licenses time to pass a bill instructing Division of Motor Vehicles to end the practice entirely.
"It doesn't set any policy whatsoever. It just gives everybody time to look at it," Brody said.