RALEIGH – The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation (ACLU-NCLF) today criticized a new Department of Transportation 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.”

The differently designed and branded licenses will reportedly be issued not only to legally present young immigrants receiving work permits and deferred action from the federal government, but also to legal permanent residents such as those who have been awarded green cards or are on a legal path to citizenship.

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.

Read the Winston-Salem Journal article here.