A controversial bill came through a judiciary panel Wednesday. It would give illegal immigrants a path to a driver's permit.


Rep. Harry Warren of Salisbury, a con-sponsor of the bill, says it isn't about immigration but rather law enforcement and public safety. He says the bill will provide more data to police about people who already are driving.

The measure creates "restricted" driver's permits and identification cards to people not lawfully present in the country. Applicants would undergo criminal background checks and provide fingerprints. The cards would be invalid to obtain public benefits or to register to vote.

Opponents say the permit would only encourage immigrants unlawfully in the country to come to North Carolina. 

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