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For all media inquiries, contact Jose Torres-Don at (512) 744-8804.

NCDOT announced today DACA licenses will no longer have a pink stripe, will keep "No Lawful Status"

NCDOT announced today DACA licenses will no longer have a pink stripe, will keep “No Lawful Status”

“No Lawful Status” with “Legal Presence”? Regular license instead of pink license? None of that matters because we are no longer afraid! 

by Jose Torres-Don

As an undocumented DACA eligible youth I welcome this license as an opportunity. For us it has not been about what color our drivers licenses are. The truth is that our fight for the DACA drivers licenses has been more about empowerment in our everyday lives to take control of who we are and not let anyone tell us what our place is or is not.

We are taking these licenses 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 (or lack of), anti-immigrant groups and anything and anyone in between.

Ultimately our perseverance comes from knowing that we are valuable and that no matter how negative the anti-immigrant rhetoric is, we are human beings and we will no longer engage in the dehumanizing process of living in the “shadows”…something that politicians on both sides of the aisle have advanced. We do not need a specific color on a license to tell us, and the rest of North Carolina, who we are. We are undocumented, we are no longer afraid and do not wish to hide that neither by being silent nor by being issued a regular license.

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We seek to drive without fear, to challenge the idea that we should remain in the shadows and to challenge the idea that this is about an “us” vs “them”. Instead, we want to have a real and honest conversation about how being undocumented is a problem and how we can find equitable and reasonable solutions that work for North Carolina. We look forward to having a bigger conversation about the enlightened self-interest for people in public office to not be bullied by radical anti-immigrant groups and instead see the value in moving North Carolina forward that is inclusive of the Hispanic community. We cannot promise the “hispanic vote”, we won’t promise that to any party, however, the national leadership of the GOP has signaled where the starting line is for Republicans of reasonable minds. It starts with seeing the value of the opportunity over the issue of immigration and proactively bidding for a broader base.

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Cinthia Marroquin and Jose Rico will be speaking shortly at a press conference held by sponsors of House Bill 184, a bill proposal led by Democrat house members at our state’s legislature that asks for DACA licenses that look like everyone elses, without the pink stripe and without the red label “No Lawful Status”.

As undocumented youth tired of the friendly but weightless rhetoric of Washington, D.C.’s Democratic leadership that preaches immigration reform but continues to deport and separate our families, we hope our state’s local Democratic leadership is not too late to stand on the side of NC’s immigrant community. In 2005, when Democrats controlled the legislature they kept a proposal for in-state tuition for undocumented students from passing. It’s been 8 years since then. What we call for today is bipartisan leadership to move North Carolina forward. Both Democrats and Republicans have a stake in this matter.

Sign the PETITION to get our driver license back by clicking here!

La marcha sigue en pie! Nos vemos mañana, Martes, afuera de las oficinas del Departamento de Transportacion. Mas detalles:

Cuando: Martes, 22 de Enero a las 9am
Donde: 1 S. Wilmington St. Raleigh, NC

*Bring your banners, caps and gowns, and matracas.
**Parking: Street parking or on-site parking decks at 120 S. Wilmington St. and also 115 S. Wilmington St. ($2/hour).

Para mas informacion, favor de contactar a:
Jacki Aguilar: 919-395-8458
Jose Rico: 919-802-0508

 

After weeks of going back and forth on the recent change in policy by the DMV to not grant drivers licenses to immigrant youth that benefit from President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), it has become evident that the NC Department of Transportation does not intend to change back its policy. They will continue to hold our drivers licenses hostage.

Only weeks ago, the DMV stated that they would stop issuing drivers licenses until they heard from the opinion of Attorney General Roy Cooper. Late last week, Cooper issued a statement explaining that DACA beneficiaries not only hold legal presence, but that the state is required to issue us driver licenses:

“It is therefore our opinion that individuals who have been granted deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy directive are lawfully present in the United States during the period of deferment. As such, N.C. Gen. Stat. 20-7(s), which states that DMV shall issue a drivers license of limited duration to person who present valid documentation demonstrating deferment and meet all other statutory requirements, requires that such licenses be issued.”

Following Attorney General Cooper’s clarification, US Citizen & Immigration Services (USCIS) also issued a formal statement in regards to driver licenses for DACA recipients:

“Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. For purposes of future inadmissibility based upon unlawful presence, an individual whose case has been deferred is not considered to be unlawfully present during the period in which deferred action is in effect. An individual who has received deferred action is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to be present in the United States, and is therefore considered by DHS to be lawfully present during the period deferred action is in effect.”

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According to recent USCIS data,  as of this month there are 14,777 immigrant youth that were given deferred action in the state of North Carolina.

However, it has become apparent to us that our state’s Department of Transportation does not care much for these clarifications. They continue to discriminate DACA youth and have given no sign of changing back the DMV policy that keeps us from obtaining a driver license. They have also found an ally in their bullying of immigrant youth with Lt. Governor Dan Forest.

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A recent statement given by NC Lt. Governor Dan Forest expresses:

“A person entering the United States illegally should not be afforded the privileges reserved for US citizens..”

This is yet another attack on us. You and I have a choice to make: Will we remain silent or fight back?

Here at the NC DREAM Team, we have heard our community loud and clear. We have received your calls and read your emails and messages that:  We NEED to fight back! We WANT to fight back! We WILL fight back!
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Here’s what we need to do:

1. Sign the petition and make calls:

http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/license/

2. Come to the protest organized by local immigrant youth TOMORROW:

When: Tuesday, January 22 @ 9am
Where: 1 S Wilmington St. Raleigh, NC

*Bring your banners, caps and gowns, and matracas.
**Parking: Street parking or on-site parking decks at 120 S. Wilmington St. and also 115 S. Wilmington St. ($2/hour).

For more info on the protest please contact:
Jacki Aguilar: 919-395-8458
Jose Rico: 919-802-0508

See you there!

Donate & Subscribe

Donate here. Donations help us travel around the state and purchase materials for actions and events. You can also subscribe to our mailing list.

@NCDREAMTeam

  • "@RobertMillaEsq: @NCDREAMTeam congratulations! ...drive safely!" Gracias!#FWYH 9 hours ago
  • MT @JoelBrownWTVD: Out of the shadows: Maria Ruiz, one of first in Raleigh to receive NC driver's license.... fb.me/2fUPCSNa8#FWYH 9 hours ago
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