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Latino Daily News

Friday March 22, 2013

North Carolina Drops Plan to Mark Drivers Licenses for Undocumented with ‘Scarlet Letter’

North Carolina Drops Plan to Mark Drivers Licenses for Undocumented with ‘Scarlet Letter’

Photo: North Carolina Licenses: Undocumented Youth

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

North Carolina driver licenses for undocumented immigrants accepted into the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program will no longer have the special destination of a pink stripe.  The idea of the “scarlet letter” met with much resistance by immigrant advocates feeling it would invite discrimination.

Immigrants accepted into the deferred deportation program were granted driving privileges in February after the state did a reversal on its original position not granting licenses for undocumented youth.  The licenses will become available next week.

When the state announced it would demark the licenses with a pink stripe many immigrant advocates cried foul.  Now the new design will be very similar in color and layout to the drivers licenses issued to all other drivers in North Carolina.  The licenses for the undocumented will however have special language in red lettering that reads: “Legal Presence/No Lawful Status”. 

About 40 states and the District of Columbia have said they are granting drivers licenses to the undocumented youth that qualify for deferred action.  North Carolina was one of the first states to initially say no to the licenses.

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