Bill could require 'non-citizen' stamped on Dreamers' licenses

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- A newly elected state representative announced on Twitter he was going to introduce a bill that would require driver's licenses issued to some immigrants to carry the label "non-citizen."

In a Twitter post, Rep.-elect Jay Lawrence, a Scottsdale Republican representing legislative District 23, said:

"I have a bill being written. It will place the words NON CITIZEN across the driver's license of illegals in our state."

Lawrence, a Valley radio talk-show host, refused to talk about his proposal, saying he would only speak about it after it was introduced in the new session.

"It's another SB 1070 waiting to happen," said state Sen.-elect Catherine Miranda, a Democrat representing District 27 in Phoenix, referring to the state's strict anti-immigration law of 2010 signed by Gov. Jan Brewer, that has been challenged all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"I want to nip it in the bud now," she continued.

Miranda said she is concerned the "non-citizen" markings could single out certain immigrants now permitted to obtain Arizona driver's licenses under President Barack Obama's new immigration policy.

"In their minds, there is no fear of pulling out their driver's licence (during minor traffic violations)," she said.

"To now have 'non-citizen' on that license (could) create that same fear again," she continued.

State Rep. John Kavanagh (R, District 8) of Fountain Hills, disagrees, saying a person's immigration status is already public record.

"It's a transparency bill. It's an honesty bill. People's immigration status on their driver's licenses is public record. Why somebody would want to suppress that is beyond me," he said.

The new legislative session begins Jan. 12.

Related: Young immigrants get Arizona driver's licenses