House Democrats spoke out Monday in support of a bill prohibiting the state from issuing distinctively marked licenses to young immigrants allowed to be in the U.S. under federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
DACA allows a two-year block on deportation for immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children, who are in or have completed school or are in the military and who have no criminal record.
After DACA was implemented in August, the state Division of Motor Vehicles began issuing licenses to DACA drivers. Shortly after Republican Gov. Pat McCrory took power, licensing was stopped pending an official opinion on the matter from state Attorney General Roy Cooper.
Once Cooper advised that DACA immigrants are legally eligible for licenses, Transportation Secretary Tony Tata announced he would begin issuing them again, but only with a special design that includes a bright pink stripe across the top and with the words “NO LEGAL STATUS” imprinted on them.
House Bill 184 would ban the state from using the special design.