RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and his transportation secretary are defending the administration's plan to begin issuing this month to certain illegal immigrants specially marked driver's licenses some critics say single them out needlessly.

McCrory and Secretary Tony Tata reiterated Tuesday support for the decision to provide driver's licenses to young adults brought to the U.S. as children without legal authorization but who now qualify for work permits under an Obama administration program.

Several Democrats, clergy and Hispanic young adults criticized Monday the driver's licenses because they'll look different from regular licenses through a bright-colored stripe and the words NO LEGAL STATUS on them.

Tata says the color is similar to IDs offered to Hurricane Katrina evacuees to North Carolina and to the federal work authorization card permittees will receive.

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