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North Carolina considers giving undocumented immigrants driving permits


Legislatures in North Carolina are debating a law that would provide a legal means for undocumented immigrants to operate vehicles in the state.

Lawmakers in North Carolina are currently considering a law that would allow undocumented immigrants the right to drive legally within the state. The legislatures are currently reviewing a bill which would provide undocumented immigrants restricted driver’s licenses if they pass a driver’s test and meet other criteria.

More on the bill

The law under consideration is House Bill 328, also referred to as The Highway Safety and Citizens Protection Act of 2015. It was first introduced on March 23 of 2015. It passed the first reading and is currently under review by the Commission on Finance within the House.

The bill contains a provision that would authorize undocumented aliens to obtain restricted driving permits and restricted identification cards. Those in favor of the law argue that it would decrease the presence of illegal and uneducated drivers on the state’s roadways, ultimately increasing the safety of the streets in North Carolina. Proponents also point out that if passed, those who receive the restricted license would also be required to carry insurance – providing further protection to those who travel the roadways in the event of an accident. Those opposed counter that the measure is favorable for undocumented immigrants and could translate to increased numbers of undocumented immigrants within the state.

More on the restricted licenses

Restricted identification cards would be available to those who are residents of North Carolina but not lawfully present in the United States. Approval requires completion of a criminal history check. Those with certain crimes on their record will not receive approval. Examples include homicides, certain drug crimes, gang offenses, sex offenses and other violent felonies.

The cards would be valid for one year after the date of issuance. Information provided for the card would be only for the issuance of the card. The bill specifically prohibits use of the information for the removal of the applicant from the United States. However, the information can be used in the event that the restricted identification card holder commits a crime either after the issuance of the card or commission of a past crime is discovered based on information from the criminal background check.

The bill also makes the possession of false documents a felony. This would likely translate to felony charges for anyone who is operating a vehicle with a fake driver’s license. Undocumented immigrants who receive a felony can face deportation.

Legal counsel can help those facing deportation or removal

Immigrants who are facing removal or deportation can find support with an experienced immigration attorney. This legal professional will provide deportation and removal defense, advocating for your rights and working to better ensure a more favorable outcome.

Keywords: Immigration law