Karen McGrew: The ‘scarlet license’

March 2, 2013 

The ‘scarlet license’

Regarding the N.C. DMV’s decision to issue “scarlet” driver’s licenses stamped with a bright pink “no lawful status” to young people who have deferred action permits (“McCrory OKs ‘pink licenses’ ” Feb. 25): These young people have been in the United States since they were small children and have a deferred action permit granting them legal presence here and the right to work or attend school for the duration of the permit.

For many years the DMV has issued driver’s licenses without neon lettered “no lawful status” stamps to other deferred action immigrants that have permits due to humanitarian reasons, asylum and prosecutorial discretion. Now that there is a deferred action program by the Obama administration, these young people will have a fuchsia colored “scarlet license” of shame with a stamp that will undoubtedly cause them difficulties in obtaining employment or enrolling in school, and invites discrimination or attacks against them.

This action seems to be politically motivated. Their ability to have a driver’s license for the duration of the permit, just as do all other holders of similar immigration permits, is a matter of public safety. This DMV action should be challenged and overturned, and licenses should be issued without delay.

Karen McGrew


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