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.



  1. Doug

    April 4, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Definitely a good idea to increase enforcement. A law is a law whether it is speeding, murder, theft, or breaking immigration laws. They need to be enforced or taken off the books if they no longer apply.

  2. Pat

    April 5, 2013 at 11:14 am

    The politicians will do whateve is popular and with the ILLEGALS they are being blackmailed into trying to win the latino vote. I say have the guts to live by the law and constitution instead of worrying about the next election. We have been bowing and giving to these people for years, we pay their medical bills, buy their food, pay for housing, and now (legal or not) they get to be treated like a legal citizen. I’m beyond fed up. It’s time for them to get off welfare, pay for their own food and medical, and pay taxes. We can’t afford to continue taking care of them while the elderly in this state suffer.

  3. Josh

    April 12, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    It is a great idea to give latinos equality by allowing them to obtain licenses. There some stubborn people out there who don’t understand us at all. It is crazy to just have so many people having to drive illegally; even though most of them are fit to drive. I mean this country was founded by immigrants so why should we be punished just for wanting a better life? I know latinos will be treated equal one day. I love this country. God bless America.

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