Stay classy, North Carolina

Or not:

Not only will the licenses be vertical rather than horizontal—something ordinarily reserved for beginning drivers—but they will also feature a pink header and include the following words in all caps “NO LAWFUL STATUS.” Now, of course, none of these changes are necessary. And they have no apparent effect. The licenses will be fully valid. All they will do is send a not-so-subtle message to the immigrants (all of whom have lived in the U.S. for the vast majority of their lives) that they’re not really welcome or equal in the eyes of the state of North Carolina—even for the limited purpose of driving.

I’d rather North Carolina stop being not-so-subtle and go old-school:

What could possibly go wrong?

48 comments on this post.
  1. Murc:

    … someone who understands conlaw better than me tell me there’s no way this survives an equal protection challenge.


  2. commie atheist:

    What’s next calling illegal immigrants “vermin?” Oh, wait.

  3. DrDick:

    They aren’t even trying to pretend they are not any more.

  4. dl:

    I think survives, since the distinction is not on national origin/ethnicity per se but immigration status.

  5. Jim Lynch:

    I’m not one to cast aspersion on the people of North Carolina, if for no other reason than my native State unleashed both Nixon and Reagan on the entire country. But what the hell is wrong with those people?

  6. merl:


  7. CashandCable:

    Jesse Helms provides stiff competition for both Reagan and Nixon. Today, Sue Myrick is holding down the Muslim-baiting position for NC, so I guess the state officials are picking up the slack for the Hispanics.

  8. MAJeff:

    Virginia Foxx ranks right down there, too.

  9. CashandCable:

    Surely, you’re not attacking Virginia “Matthew Shepard’s murder was a hoax” Foxx, are you?

  10. xxy:

    An NC driver’s license has a category for race in the biographical info? That’s pretty disgusting.

  11. Hogan:

    Seriously, pink?

  12. Hogan:

    Hey, in a “one drop” state, the photo may not be enough.

  13. Substance McGravitas:

    How long until the first businesses refuse pink cards as IDs?

  14. efgoldman:

    My son-in-law is a wonderful young man. He’s from NC; we don’t hold it against him. After all, he married my daughter, a very common-sense, very liberal, very feminist young woman. He escaped, and is glad of it. Some of his family, however…

  15. rea:

    Pendantry, I’ve been told, is one of my flaws–but I’d like to know in what sense these people have “no legal status.” “Immigrants granted the right to stay in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program” sounds like a legal status to me.

    Of course, “present in the country in complete and utter violation of the immigration laws” would be a legal status, too.

  16. Steve:

    Why not? They also think women’s breasts are terrifying and must be covered at all times.

  17. efgoldman:

    Well, some cracker doesn’t approve of them. Doesn’t that (plus the fact a lot of them are, you know, brown, and maybe maybe talk with a funny accent [then again, so do half the white people in NC] and, you know, of course they’re not entitled to legal status.
    But there are no racists there. Oh, no. Not at all. Nobody here but as liberty lovers….
    Great bleeding FSM!

  18. Philip:

    I think there’s another reason for putting it on there. When they’re pulled over, beaten, and jailed for driving while brown, the cop can say “well, it said no legal status on the license, I thought that meant the license wasn’t valid.” Same thing when businesses that require proof of age turn them away.

  19. MAJeff:

    Homos…non-whites…they’re all not real Amurkins.

  20. cpinva:

    they just really can’t seem to help themselves, can they?

  21. Funkula`:

    Thank you for pointing this out. Given that they are granted this status by a law, that is pretty much clearly a lawful status. I kind of think they were intending to dodge that by using the term lawful instead of legal, but they didn’t think hard enough.

  22. Pendant-phile Poster:

    From the website, FAQ’s for DACA applicants:

    Q6: If my case is deferred, am I in lawful status for the period of deferral?

    A6: No. Although action on your case has been deferred and you do not accrue unlawful presence (for admissibility purposes) during the period of deferred action, deferred action does not confer any lawful status.

    The fact that you are not accruing unlawful presence does not change whether you are in lawful status while you remain in the United States. However, although deferred action does not confer a lawful immigration status, your period of stay is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security while your deferred action is in effect and, for admissibility purposes, you are considered to be lawfully present in the United States during that time.

    Apart from the immigration laws, “lawful presence”, “lawful status” and similar terms are used in various other federal and state laws. For information on how those laws affect individuals who receive a favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion under DACA, please contact the appropriate federal, state or local authorities.

  23. AR:

    Still have a possible challenge for national origin or an impact challenge based on race.

  24. LosGatosCA:

    These things just happen, and mainly in the South. No one knows why.

  25. Jberardi:

    These are the same people who can’t figure out why asians won’t vote for them, right?

  26. Jeffrey Beaumont:

    no, there is no race on driver’s licenses

  27. Jeffrey Beaumont:

    Dont get me wrong, this is ridiculous, but existing NC licenses have no race category, and the blank race category here looks like it was added for effect.

  28. Jeffrey Beaumont:

    All NC special status like provisional licenses or motorcycle endorsements are in red/pink. that is just the design of license, nothing special.

  29. Jeffrey Beaumont:

    This state is about 48-50% liberals now, a swing state. Save the southern bashing. NC is really one of the best places to live in the south.

  30. Jeffrey Beaumont:

    Those people are reactionaries. This state is a swing state, going blue.

  31. Major Kong:

    Unfortunately some of the worst elements in the state seem to find their way into public office.

  32. Warren Terra:

    These are the same people (well, one state over) who in 2008 decided it would be a good idea for George “Macaca” Allen to headline a minority-outreach event.

  33. dl:

    [sarc] It can’t be racist, the sample license name says “Jane Wiley” [/sarc]

    also, pun intended on the name? I doubt the relevant authorities are clever enough.

  34. Eric:

    Would it have been possible to make this point without breaking Godwin’s law?

  35. Eric:

    well, fulfilling, I mean.

  36. Walt:

    At this point I’m so sick about people talking about “Godwin’s law” that I hope Godwin rots in hell for all eternity. Hitler. There, I said it. Hitler.

  37. Die Pedantetroler:

    No, it would not have been nearly as fulfilling.

  38. Warren Terra:

    They’re proposing to issue unperson identity cards. Godwin’s law came pre-broken (or, if you prefer, pre-fulfilled) for SEK’s convenience.

    See also XKCD.

  39. Greco:

    You know who ELSE wanted people to wear yellow stars?

  40. witless chum:

    Colorblind Jerry Jones?

  41. idlemind:

    All Godwin said was “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” It’s not always a bad thing…

  42. Lancelot Link:

    Even Mike Godwin sometimes mentions Hitler.

  43. liberal:

    Glenn Greenwald had a correspondence with Godwin, wherein the latter says that of course there are contexts where bringing up the Nazis is entirely appropriate.

    This would appear to be one of them.

  44. Hogan:

    Ah. Good to know.

  45. Bill Murray:

    my dog

  46. Jeffrey Beaumont:

    And everywhere else lately. The Republicans rather brilliantly did well in local elections from Michigan to NC to wherever else, especially in 2010, when the census would allow fresh gerrymandering.

  47. Snarki, child of Loki:

    I guess you’ve finally identified the people responsible for all of those “This page is intentionally blank” things.


  48. Mister Harvest:

    However, although deferred action does not confer a lawful immigration status, your period of stay is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security while your deferred action is in effect and, for admissibility purposes, you are considered to be lawfully present in the United States during that time.

    Your presence in the US authorized and you are considered lawfully present for admissibility purposes, but you’re not lawfully admitted.


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