Republican state legislators frustrated by a lack of progress on immigration reform on the federal level demonstrated Tuesday just how hard it can be to reach a compromise.
Members of the House Finance Committee were deeply divided over a provision in House Bill 328 that would offer a restricted drivers permit to undocumented immigrants who are willing to undergo a background check and be fingerprinted.
Rep. John Blust, R- Guilford, worried the bill would be an incentive for more immigrants to come to North Carolina.
Republican Rep. Bert Jones went a step further saying if immigrants were for the bill, that was all the proof he needed that committee members should oppose the measure.
Bill sponsor Rep. Harry, R-Rowan, was clearly frustrated by the direction of the debate telling his fellow Republicans:
“If you’ll step away from the politics of this for a minute, and look at the logic behind it, you’ll see this is the right thing to do,” explained Warren.
Warren says the Highway Safety/Citizens Protection Act would help law enforcement, and ensure undocumented drivers actually carry insurance before getting behind the wheel.
Rep. Jones would not be persuaded:
“We should not be encouraging, should not be endorsing, should not be accepting illegal immigration in any way.”
For now, HB 382 remains in committee with the finance chair promising a vote at a future meeting.
To watch part of Tuesday’s debate, click below.