When the state of Arizona sought to pass a law that would allow police to check the legal status of drivers stopped for other reasons, it led to protests.
A group of four Republicans in North Carolina want to allow the same thing.
They filed a bill that would offer a restricted driver's permit to those here illegally. To get one, applicants would have to provide: a criminal background check, a passport or federal tax form and proof they have insurance and live here.
The bill would also allow police officers to check immigration status during stops or arrests.
Rep. Harry Warren, from Rowan County, is a primary sponsor of the bill. He told Eyewitness News by phone it's all about public safety.
"One of the reasons for the restricted driver's permit is to help law enforcement so they know who they're dealing with," Warren said.
Critics said it's too similar to Arizona's law.
Armando Bellmas is with Charlotte's Latin American Coalition.
While he said the bill is a step in the right direction, he worries it opens the door to profiling and discrimination.
"That kind of stuff is going to happen regardless of what kind of bills we have. We don't need anything that encourages that kind of behavior," Bellmas said.
Warren disagreed and said it should help ease concerns of some people here illegally instead of causing concerns like in Arizona.
"That's why the bill was crafted, to address the criminal element within the illegal community. Not designed to go after every single person in the country illegally," Warren said.