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North Carolina officials to change young immigrants' licenses

People coming to this country to start a new life in a new land face many obstacles. Financial difficulties, language challenges and immigration rules all face those brave enough to come to the United States to build a life. Recently, North Carolina made a change to one relatively small but important challenge to young immigrants.

Previously, North Carolina transportation officials were pushing for the inclusion of a pink stripe on the driver's licenses of young immigrants. The stripe was to be accompanied by the phrase, "NO LAWFUL STATUS." Though that phrase remains in the stripe's absence, the phrase "LEGAL PRESENCE" now also appears on the licenses just above the other phrase.

Immigration and civil rights groups had protested the previous version claiming that it would place an unfair stigma on the young immigrants who have earned temporary lawful status.

The license issue is just one small challenge facing those who must navigate the labyrinth of U.S. immigration law. Those looking to obtain a green card or employment-base visas should know that the process of takes longer than one would hope and is frequently delayed. Keeping up with the small things can help the cause, such as letting the United States Citizen and Immigration Services know about address changes and being on time for USCIS appointments.

Though still not an easy process, hopefully the change in the North Carolina young immigrant licenses makes life a little bit easier for those youths new to the country. However, they and any other individuals dealing with immigration legal issues should be aware that a legal professional can ensure their rights are protected in a system which too often stacks the cards against them.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "North Carolina drops plans for pink licenses for young immigrants,' David Zucchino, March 23, 2013

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