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McCrory11092012Former U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill famously said that “all politics is local.” And right now, it appears that one of ol’ Tip’s leading disciples is Governor Pat McCrory. How else to explain the Guv’s repeated decisions to ignore national trends and double-down on far right policies that seem sure to alienate important constituencies to which his own party is trying to build bridges?

Last month, McCrory was doing his best to thumb his nose at the unemployed, the uninsured and the health care industry generally with his decisions to turn down billions in federal unemployment insurance and Medicaid dollars. He’s already made clear he has no real interest in reaching out to the African-American community with his statements of support for a mandatory voter ID law.

And now, in a move that is more symbolic than substantive, he has given a big raspberry to another community that national Republicans had been trying to court in the wake of last November’s presidential election by announcing that he’s closing the state’s Office of Hispanic/Latino Affairs. Read More

In case you missed it yesterday, the Charlotte Observer had a good editorial that offered: a) tempered praise for the McCrory administration’s plan to ditch the pink stripes on licenses for immigrants, and b) a big thumbs down on a legislative proposal to make it easier for people with mental health issues to obtain handguns.

Read the entire editorial by clicking here.

pink-licenseFrom ACLU-NC Communications Director Mike Meno:

ACLU-NC Calls New Design of Driver’s Licenses for Young Immigrants ‘Huge Step in the Right Direction’

New Design for Driver’s Licenses to be Issued Next Week to Young Immigrants Receiving Deferred Action Removes Much-Criticized Pink Stripe, Adds Clarifying Phrase ‘Legal Presence,’ And Will Keep Licenses Horizontal for 21+

RALEIGH – The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation says a new design for driver’s licenses the N.C. Department of Transportation unveiled today for young immigrants receiving work permits through the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) is a step in the right direction but that concerns about the licenses remain. Read More

DACA drivers' licensesYou just knew there had to be a catch when new North Carolina Transportation Secretary Anthony Tata was dragged kicking and screaming to do the right (and undeniably lawful) thing  for immigrants granted the right to stay in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program last Friday. It would have just been too easy and humane to actually just give folks their licenses and let it go at that. Somehow, something had to be done to appease the anti-immigrant crowd both within and without state government.

So, here’s the stupid and unnecessary idea Tata’s people have cooked up: funny looking licenses. We are not making this up. In a move that would clearly make Arizona’s crazy immigrant-hating Sheriff Joe “pink-underwear-for-inmates” Arpaio smile, DOT will issue issue drivers’ licenses to the immigrants that will look very different from an average adult’s.  Read More

From the good folks at the ACLU of North Carolina:

RALEIGH –A young immigrant who meets all requirements for a North Carolina driver’s license but has been denied a learner’s permit while officials reconsider the state’s policy will deliver a petition with more than 22,000 signatures to the office of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory today that urges the governor to support issuing licenses to qualified immigrants who want to drive safely and legally in the state.

More than three weeks after the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office said that young immigrants who qualify under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are “lawfully present” and should be granted driver’s licenses, North Carolina officials have still not announced a decision about the state’s policy. Read More