Next Monday DMVs across North Carolina will be re-issuing drivers
licenses to DACA youth. The pink striped licenses that will be issued
to us have been bashed as discriminatory and getting one may even be seen by some as being complicit in the government’s signaling out of undocumented people. I’ve been in conversations in which documented people look at me as if they want to save me… they are outraged that this is happening and some have even apologized for the outright discrimination the state is engaged in. The funny thing about that is that I’m not outraged…not at all. I’ve already won this battle. In fact, I won it back in 2010 when I declared myself to be undocumented and unafraid. All I need now is a license that forces the government to acknowledge me and my position as an undocumented person who refuses to be afraid and live in the shadows. A regular license would not accomplish that so thank you, North Carolina!
We’re on the same page. This has been more about dropping the fear than anything else.
The truth is that the alternative to a pink striped license came close
to being nothing at all. I’m going to check my privilege here because
the fact is that throughout the period that I have this license I will
have deferred action and that means I won’t be deported. Even if I
decided to not get a license, I would still not be risking the same
thing by driving without a license because deportation would be off
the table…even if only temporarily. There are others in my community that don’t have this privilege. My parents and older brothers and sisters certainly don’t. Having a drivers license in the family will be good no matter what color the license is. For me to not get one or to get caught up in picking a fight about how discriminatory this license will be is closing the door on an opportunity to open a conversation about drivers licenses for all undocumented people.
Again, the color that it comes in is secondary to the goal of empowerment that allows us to take this licenses and force them to be on our terms with an added level of accountability for the
discrimination that will happen no matter what.
At the NC DREAM Team we may have different opinions and some of us will get one of these licenses and others of us will decide not to.
The bottom line, though, is that we will drive without fear.
As the NC DREAM Team our priority is to help undocumented youth
recognize our individual and collective power. We seek to activate our communities and escalate in our efforts. We are guided by the voices of those directly affected:
· We welcome these licenses as an opportunity for some of us to have
an option that we did not have before.
· We are not safer with a regular license because discrimination still
happens on the basis of our skin color and the perceived immigration
status. At the end of the day we are still subject to deportation and harassment from law enforcement no matter what kind of license we get issued.
· Undocumented youth in North Carolina have been coming out as
undocumented, unafraid and unashamed since 2010. We will not allow a pink stripe to re-instate the shame that we gave up feeling with the empowerment of our community.
We aim to be empowered to get a pink striped license and take it as an opportunity to be undocumented and unafraid because we know how to fight back. If you are undocumented and were previously issued a regular license then go ahead and put that pink tape on your drivers license! You are undocumented. No need to hide it. Be empowered by it!
We are taking these licenses and engaging in this fight knowing that
the biggest and most important battle is the one in our head that
leads us to our own individual liberation independent of politicians,
policies, anti-immigrant groups, allies, the non-profit industrial
complex and anything and anyone in between.
Join us on March 25th at 3:30pm at the DMV at 2431 Spring Forest Road North Raleigh, Unit 101, NC 27615. We will rally to declare that we will drive without fear!