ACLU-NC Criticizes N.C. DMV’s Plan to Issue Second-Class Licenses to Legal Immigrants

N.C. DMV Spokesperson Says Specially Marked Driver’s Licenses Will Be Issued this Summer to Non-Citizens in the U.S. Legally; Civil Liberties Group Strongly Concerned About Stigmatization of Aspiring Citizens

February 21, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

RALEIGH – The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation (ACLU-NCLF) today criticized a new Division of Motor Vehicles policy first reported by the Winston-Salem Journal that would issue specially marked driver's licenses sometime this summer to immigrants who are in the United States legally. According to an article in today's Winston-Salem Journal, the new licenses will be introduced this summer "to distinguish people who are not U.S. citizens."

"North Carolina should not be making it harder for aspiring citizens to integrate and contribute to our communities by branding them with a second-class driver's license," said Raul Pinto, ACLU-NCLF Staff Attorney. "Immigrants from across the world contribute to North Carolina in countless ways, and there is simply no reason for officials to stigmatize people who are in the U.S. legally with an unnecessary marker that could lead to harassment, confusion, and racial profiling."

As reported by the Winston-Salem Journal, the designs of the new licenses for non-U.S. citizens will be similar to those that will be issued to immigrants receiving deferred action from the federal government.

The ACLU of North Carolina is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to preserving and expanding the guarantees of individual liberty found in the United States and North Carolina Constitutions and related federal and state civil rights laws. With approximately 12,000 members and supporters throughout the state and an office located in Raleigh, the organization achieves its mission through advocacy, public education, community outreach, and when necessary, litigation.

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