Should dreamer's driver's licenses include the label "non-citizen" on them? The debate over that question is heating up after a rookie lawmaker tweeted about an upcoming bill he's working on.
This was the tweet that sparked the debate:
Senator-elect Jay Lawrence posted "I have a bill being written. It will place the words NON-CITIZEN across the driver's license of illegals in our state."
Those words have ignited a firestorm among immigration activists, who are fighting back.
"This is a proactive move against radio shock jock Jay Lawrence who I perceive as an extreme right winger," said Deedee Garcia-Blase, an activist.
Among those voicing their opposition to Lawrence, Senator-elect Catherine Miranda.
"I did give him a heads up that I would be as aggressive as I need to be to kill his interest set," she said.
While Miranda says she's ready to take on the newly elected lawmaker on this issue, Lawrence would not go on camera to defend his motion, saying it is not an official bill at this point. But Miranda says it's in the process of becoming one.
"He has already approved a draft and an interest set is being circulated for signatures."
While Lawrence declined an on-camera interview, he did respond on Facebook and Twitter, saying "My concern with regard to driver's licenses is protecting the integrity of our voting system and maintaining border security. Currently, I am on a fact-finding mission to learn what safeguards are in place and where we may improve them."
Meanwhile, activists say they're not waiting for an official bill to be written and are trying to put out the anti-immigration sentiment sparked by a single tweet.
I think what he's doing here.. he's playing with fire on the eve of the Super Bowl.. we're already trying to repair our image from the SB 1070 debacle," said Garcia-Blase.
The new legislative session begins January 12th.
More than 22,000 immigrants who have received work permits through President Obama's deferred action program are no eligible to apply for driver's licenses in Arizona.