State bill could delay some illegal immigrants from getting their licenses
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RALEIGH -- A bill in the N.C. General Assembly could delay some illegal immigrants expecting to get their licenses next month. It affects those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also called DACA.
Cinthia Marroqin is in DACA, and thought she'd be getting her license on March 25th after the DMV was given the go-ahead last week to issue licenses on March 25th. But as she read over House Bill 141, that dream started to fade.
"I need to get a job," said Marroqin. "How am I supposed to get to my job if I don't even know when I'll be getting my license?"
Rep. Mark Brody (R) wrote the bill, which is also sponsored by three other republican representatives, and said it's the General Assembly, not the Attorney General, who has the power to create policy over the issue.
"There are number of people who overstepped, from President Obama, to Homeland Security, to the Attorney General," said Brody.
HB 141 has no policy in it, it just slows puts a delay on the process of when DACA immigrants can get a license. It would expire on June 15, 2013.
The license that would be issued doesn't look like a standard N.C. license either. It has red bold letters stating "NO LAWFUL STATUS." It also has a fuchsia border at the top, and says "Limited Term" on the right side. The design has people with the ACLU of N.C. upset.
"I think it's going to be an avenue for discrimination," said ACLU attorney Raul Pinto. "it's a market that sets a bulls eye for these types of students."
The ACLU also doesn't like the delay and the idea of HB 141 getting passed in the legislature.
"Any type of delay is going to have a very negative impact on people who are trying to get to work and who are trying to get to school," Pinto said.
In the meantime, Marroqin said she'll keep advocating with the N.C. Dream Team, making sure their voices are heard.
"The only thing we want right now is to keep the roads of North Carolina safe, and they aren't even allowing us to do that," said Marroqin.
Rep. Brody speculated that the bill will be sent to a committee early next week.