Pink licenses were OK’d by McCrory

Governor Pat McCrory took a moment out from the National Governors Association Conference annual meeting in Washington to tell the Charlotte Observer that he’s all for the licenses authorized for residents who qualify for them under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) rules.

Immigrant advocates have called the licenses, which feature a pink stripe at the top with the words “NO LAWFUL STATUS,” discriminatory. It is not know whether the licenses would be required of just DACA-eligible applicants or anyone unable to provide proof of citizenship.

Via the Charlotte Observer:

McCrory said he wanted to make sure the licenses were granted but also ensure that they clearly differed in appearance from other licenses issued by the state to prevent misuse.

“I thought it was a very sound resolution based upon on federal and attorney general’s ruling,” McCrory said.

Charlotte Observer — McCrory likes ‘pink licenses’ aimed for immigrants

Here’s the response last week to the design by members of the Latin American Coalition in Charlotte:

We are grateful that North Carolina will once again start issuing licenses to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. Having a driver’s license is crucial for the lives of many young people; they not only grant the right to drive a vehicle but also serve as the main form of ID to grant access to countless places, job opportunities, and activities.

However, we are shocked and appalled at the way these licenses are being issued. The format of the license design and class is completely discriminatory and untrue. The alarming pink highlight as well the vertical format- a format usually reserved for minors- can and will cause great difficulties for those who are of age and needing entry to various services and places.

The presence of the phrase “Deferred Action” is inconvenient because it reveals a person’s former legal status and violates their right to privacy. In the same manner, the use of the term “NO LAWFUL STATUS” on the licenses is completely unnecessary. We are afraid that the presence of these two phrases will lead to discrimination against DACA recipients as well as harassment from law-enforcement authorities.

It is worth mentioning that North Carolina is the only state in the country that has ever issued this type of license. Although deferred action has been given to other immigrants in the past, this is the first time that a state has created a license specifying a person’s immigration status. Individuals with deferred action have historically been allowed to have regular driver’s licenses. This shows that the issuing of this type of licenses is not just a “formal procedure.” The way these licenses have been issued is a direct attack on the immigrant community in North Carolina and the DACA policy that was recently put into place.

Lastly, it baffles us that rather than using its resources for other much-needed programs, the current state administration is making use of taxpayer money to create a new license class with a discriminatory message regarding a group of individuals who have grown up in and contributed to the growth of the state of North Carolina. This new license puts more obstacles in front of many young immigrants, creating a class of “inferior” North Carolinians.