House bill that would grant driver’s licenses to undocumented residents affects locals

GREENVILLE, N.C.(WNCT)- There are over half a million undocumented residents in North Carolina, a lot of whom do not have a valid driver’s license.

“If I get pulled over by a police officer, and they ask for my driver’s license, I am going to have to show what I have, and it’s only going to be an expired driver’s license,” an anonymous undocumented resident said.

A house bill, if passed, could give North Carolinians the right to obtain a valid driver’s license. A lot of immigrants in North Carolina agree with the overall concept of the bill, but there are some details that their concerned with.

Juvencio Peralta, the president of the Association of Mexicans in North Carolina, said, “we feel like this is going to link into more racial profiling, because everybody is going to go through that and in the local level people are not trained to do those type of processes.”

In order to obtain a license, undocumented residents would have to submit to a background check and fingerprinting. Bill Sponsor, Harry Warren, said the measure is designed to reduce the risk of identity theft, and make it easier for law enforcement to identify criminals. Undocumented immigrants want people to know they are here to help the community, not harm it. The bill was cleared by the House Judiciary Committee, and will now be discussed by the entire house.

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