NC House immigration bill passes first committee

May. 01, 2013 @ 01:00 PM

A bill granting driving privileges to those in the country illegally and authorizing Arizona-style detainment measures has passed its first North Carolina legislative committee test.

A House judiciary committee approved the Republican bill Wednesday 9-3 with some Democratic support. The bill would require residents in the country illegally to pursue a restricted driver's license and allow police to detain anyone suspected of lacking documentation for up to 24 hours to verify legal status.

The latest version of the bill softens restrictions on pre-trial release and requirements that those living in the country illegally pay for incarceration costs.

Some Democrats suggested changing or completely gutting the detainment measure out of concerns it could lead to racial profiling or would not survive court tests.

The bill now heads to the Finance Committee.