Incoming Arizona lawmaker to propose 'non-citizen' designation on immigrant licenses

Arizona Rep. Jay Lawrence. (Image: Screen grab from Lawrence campaign video)

Arizona Rep. Jay Lawrence. (Image: Screen grab from Lawrence campaign video)

A newly elected Arizona lawmaker says he's drafting legislation to add a "non-citizen" designation on driver's licenses issued to young immigrants participating in a federal program enabling them to avoid deportation.

Republican Rep.-elect Jay Lawrence said he wants to protect the integrity of the voting system.

Meanwhile, Democratic state Rep. Catherine Miranda says Lawrence's proposal spells trouble for Arizona in the wake of past controversy over a 2010 immigration-enforcement law.

Arizona was one of the last states to issue licenses to young immigrants brought into the U.S. illegally as children but allowed to remain under a 2012 Obama administration program known as DACA.

Republican Gov. Jan Brewer waged a lengthy legal battle to restrict licenses, but a U.S. Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for participating immigrants to begin applying for licenses on Dec. 23.

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In their dissent opinion, Justices Alito, Scalia and Thomas indicated they would have granted Gov. Brewer’s request.

The ruling affects an estimated 20,000 young immigrants in Arizona.

Nicholas Espiritu, a staff attorney with the National Immigration Law Center at the time of the ruling, told Fox News Latino that driver’s licenses are crucial for the Dreamers’ development.

“The young immigrants who have been granted deferred action and work authorization under the DACA program are students and young adults who are trying to pursue an education, advance their careers, support their families, and fully contribute to their communities,” he said.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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