Ron Woodard, president of NC Listen, took credit for urging the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles to deny young immigrants driver’s licenses in the state.
According to an interview with the McClatchy wire service, Woodard said that members of NC Listen contacted the DMV and encouraged it to deny licenses to people who obtain documents through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Woodard and the DMV got a strong rebuke from the Charlotte Observer editorial board today, urging the state to revisit the new policy. While opponents of DACA have wrongfully claimed that the program is illegal, the Observer replied that “no court has deemed the president’s deferred deportation policy unlawful. As the nation’s chief executive, he can issue such an executive order.”
Other states have attempted to deny licenses to immigrant youth and wound up in legal battles about the state’s role in immigration policy. Michigan is now facing a lawsuit against its ban on driver’s licenses, as well as Arizona. Today, the American Civil Liberties Union and the North Carolina Justice Center sent a letter to the state Attorney General’s office urging them to continue issuing driver’s license to the newly documented youth.
NC Listen is the state contact group for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and has received financial support and training from the national organization. If the state has in fact acquiesced to the anti-immigrant movement’s demand to discriminate against these youth, they may be walking down the same path blazed by Arizona. A legally and economically disastrous path.