The North Carolina Department of Transportation announced changes Thursday to the design of drivers licenses for certain illegal immigrants who qualify for temporary residency status under the federal Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.
DACA is an Obama administration initiative that allows immigrants who were brought into the United States illegally as children to apply to stay in the country. In a move that makes the licenses more consistent with other NC licenses, the DOT announced the DACA licenses will NOT have a pink banner and will only be vertical for drivers under 21. In addition, the DMV is adding the words LEGALLY PRESENT in front of NO LAWFUL STATUS. Immigration rights activists had decried the original design of all-vertical licenses with a distinctive pink banner, comparing it to a modern-day "scarlet letter." The American Civil Liberties Union says the changes are "a huge step in the right direction," but that it still has concerns about the use of the language "NO LAWFUL STATUS."