Driver licenses for undocumented may come back to NC, but with Arizona-style enforcement
Franco Ordoñez of the Charlotte Observer/McClatchy newspapers posted this story last night about a bill that would try and reinstate driving privileges to those living illegally in the country, but also increase enforcement.
State Rep. Harry Warren, a Rowan County Republican, told the newspaper he would introduce the major legislation next week.
From the Charlotte Observer piece:
Republican lawmakers in North Carolina are expected next week to propose a sweeping new state law that would grant driving privileges to residents living in the country illegally but also would adopt Arizona-type enforcement measures that authorize police to check the immigration status of people they question for other suspected offenses.
Supporters say the proposal, a sign of a more welcoming approach that some states are taking with their unauthorized residents, would make the roads safer and help identify those who had been living hidden in society.
The measure also has significant political implications as national Republican leaders have warned the party must expand its appeal to Latinos. It’s not an easy task for a Republican-led North Carolina legislature, which must walk a fine line between reaching out to the state’s rapidly growing Latino community without antagonizing the party’s conservative base.
Immigrants living in the country without permission cannot currently get drivers licenses, a policy that affects about an estimated 325,000 people.
Warren said his bill would also include a controversial enforcement component that allows law enforcement to check immigration status of those who are stopped, according to the McClatchy article.
This comes on the heels of North Carolina’s DMV opting to drop its plan to use a fuchsia line on the licenses of young immigrants who receive permission to stay in the country under the Obama Administration’s deferred action policy.