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7/8/2014 3:39:00 PM
Court blocks state plan to deny driver's licenses to some immigrants
Gov. Jan Brewer, shown in a 2012 file photo, blasted the court decision blocking Arizona’s driver’s license policy as an “outrageous” and “misguided” defense of a “lawless directive” by the Obama administration. (Cronkite News Service photo by Stephanie Snyder)
Gov. Jan Brewer, shown in a 2012 file photo, blasted the court decision blocking Arizona’s driver’s license policy as an “outrageous” and “misguided” defense of a “lawless directive” by the Obama administration. (Cronkite News Service photo by Stephanie Snyder)
A federal court blocked Arizona’s policy that denies driver’s licenses to immigrants here under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, saying the state plan hurt DACA recipients and discriminated against them. (Photo courtesy the Arizona Department of Transportation)
A federal court blocked Arizona’s policy that denies driver’s licenses to immigrants here under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, saying the state plan hurt DACA recipients and discriminated against them. (Photo courtesy the Arizona Department of Transportation)
License law
Arizona Revised Statute 28-3153(D), which says people applying for a driver's license in the state have to show that their "presence in the United States is authorized."

"D. Notwithstanding any other law, the department shall not issue to or renew a driver license or nonoperating identification license for a person who does not submit proof satisfactory to the department that the applicant's presence in the United States is authorized under federal law. For an application for a driver license or a nonoperating identification license, the department shall not accept as a primary source of identification a driver license issued by a state if the state does not require that a driver licensed in that state be lawfully present in the United States under federal law. The director shall adopt rules necessary to carry out the purposes of this subsection. The rules shall include procedures for:

1. Verification that the applicant's presence in the United States is authorized under federal law.

2. Issuance of a temporary driver permit pursuant to section 28-3157 pending verification of the applicant's status in the United States."

By Aubree Abril
Cronkite News Service

WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court Monday blocked an Arizona policy that denies driver's licenses to immigrants who have been temporarily protected from deportation under the federal government's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court's ruling, saying the so-called DREAMers "are likely to suffer irreparable harm" if the driver's license policy is allowed to continue.

Gov. Jan Brewer, who issued the 2012 executive order directing state agencies to deny "taxpayer-funded public benefits and state identification, including a drivers' license" to deferred-action residents, blasted the ruling Monday. In a prepared statement from her office, she called the court's decision an "outrageous" and "misguided" defense of a "lawless directive" by the Obama administration.

"The American people are tired and disgusted by what is happening through our federal government today, but they can be assured Arizona will continue to fight for the rule of law," the statement said.

But Victor Viramontes, national senior counsel at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, hailed the decision.

"The 9th Circuit has told them (Arizona) that they need to follow the law and ... stop discriminating against DACA recipients," said Viramontes, who argued the case for the Arizona Dream Act Coalition and five immigrants who challenged the policy.

The policy was Brewer's response to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which allows immigrants who were brought here illegally as children to stay for renewable two-year terms without fear of being deported.

Under the policy, which was announced in June 2012, DACA applicants must have been younger than 16 when they came to the U.S. and under age 31 as of June 15, 2012. They also must have a high school diploma or received a GED, or been honorably discharged from the military.

Immigrants covered under the program are required to apply for work authorization documentation, which can be used to apply for a driver's license in Arizona. But Brewer's order stopped that.

The plaintiffs include five DACA recipients who got work papers but who said, according to court documents, that the executive order effectively kept them from working, since they have no way to get to their jobs without a car.

"This is an important victory because in Arizona driving is essential for living your daily life," Viramontes said.

"It's how you go to school. It's how you go to work. It's how you visit your family members, and the governor senselessly tried to deny driver's licenses to DACA recipients," he said.

Carmen Cormejo, an adviser to the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, said it is an important decision because "DREAMers need to drive. They need to become completely integrated into our communities and the state."

A U.S. District Court judge ruled that the policy discriminated against DACA recipients "for no rational reason," but that the order could take effect because plaintiffs were not likely to suffer "irreparable harm" from it.

The appeals panel disagreed, saying the plaintiffs would be harmed if the policy was not blocked.

Brewer said she is looking at options for an appeal.

"This continues us down a dangerous path in which the courts and the president - not Congress - make our nation's laws," Brewer's statement said. "The ruling is especially disturbing given the current influx of illegal aliens, a crisis President Obama created and escalated."

But Viramontes said the state needs to "move on" from this issue.

"It's time for Arizona to move on from its years-long policy now of being at war with immigrants," he said. "I think they need to turn the page."


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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, July 11, 2014
Article comment by: Koch Bros robbers?

You mean ol' Charlie and Dave, those simple heads of a conglomerate employing 60,000 Americans to produce useful commodities sold at fair prices?

Those avid supporters of individual liberties and an end to the drug war?

Oh, wait...Dave supports same-sex marriage...

Devils incarnate!


Posted: Friday, July 11, 2014
Article comment by: @ Maria

Really? "They need a driver's license to go about their daily lives legally." They cannot be in this country illegally, yet have rights to drive legally. The term for your comment is oxymoron.

Posted: Friday, July 11, 2014
Article comment by: @ Maria Feller

I agree, it's difficult for undocumented aliens brought to this country at a young age. This is the only culture they've known. Here in the Verde Valley, most of their friends and classmates are either born citizens or the children of legal immigrants. No distinction was made until they reached their teens and began running up against the consequences of their parents decision to ignore US immigration laws. Suddenly, doors open to everyone they know are closed to them. Privileges everyone else takes for granted are beyond their reach.

Very few Americans at that age can see beyond the fact of exclusion. Whatever the cause, it hurts and seems terribly unfair. Very few would think to ask their parents why they did this to their children. Even fewer would have the gumption to leave on their own. With their superior education, their ingrained sense of personal entitlement, and a small stash of American dollars, Dreamers would probably excel in the land where they were born. But for most people, that isn't an option, it's a fate to be avoided at all costs.

But I wouldn't worry too much. Governor Brewer is challenging the U.S. executive branch's jurisdiction in Arizona transportation policy, not sending Sheriff Joe to round up your friends.

She also has a simple fallback position: issue licenses clearly marked NON-CITIZEN with numbers exclusive to the Dreamer deferral program. She might as well. Non-citizens have been driving in this country since automobiles became commonplace. With a license, they can be required to have insurance, be fined for illegal parking, and be held responsible for the condition of their vehicles.

ibs


Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2014
Article comment by: Mary Jane

@ Prisons full of Republicans!

So, what I get from your statistics is that in New York the criminal justice system seems to be working when it comes to rehabilitating the incarcerated. You go in Republican, you leave a Democrat, or to put it another way, you go in a thief and leave a homosexual activist!

Maybe you all should vote Libertarian! By Libertarian, I don't mean one of these Koch Bros. Republican knot heads who pretend to be Libertarian as an excuse to rob you! Nor does it mean being a Progressive phony who just can't resist trying to redefine society so everyone resembles a SF bath house patron!


Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2014
Article comment by: Blathering Nincompoops

How sad to read most of your posts! Are any but a couple of you capable of making a case for your position without resorting to blathering and nasty name calling? PF obviously is incapable of a rational discussion on any topic. Having different positions on issues is healthy when those differences cans be articulated on points of merit. Sadly most posters here are in need of a rabies vaccination to stem the incoherent frothing at the mouth! Y'all certainly say something about the make up of our community. Please try and state your position based on a point of view and facts. You might even feel better about yourself, or not!

Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2014
Article comment by: Prisons full of Republicans?

Federal prison population, May 2014:
37.1% Black, 35.0% Hispanic

New York state prison inmates who registered to vote upon release, 2008-2012:
62.3% Democrat, 8.7% Republican


Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2014
Article comment by: uncommon sense uncommon sence

Seems to me arizona voters only want politicians that give away benefits (cash) to
the whiners of society for a vote.
To hell with the hard working folks that ask for
nothing but a paycheck and pay taxes.
How much taxes do'es a leach pay?


Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2014
Article comment by: uncommon sense uncommon sence

Seams to me arizona voters only want politicians that give away benefits (cash) to
the whiners of society for a vote.
To hell with the hard working folks that ask for
nothing but a paycheck and pay taxes.
How much taxes do'es a leach pay?


Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2014
Article comment by: maria feller

I know many of these kids in the Verde valley ,yes they speak and read English very well as well as Spanish. They work hard at school and many of them have jobs after school. They need a driver's license to go about their daily lives legally. Why deny students and military personnel a chance to improve their lives. Please stop the hate‼

Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Article comment by: @ @ Mr. Allan

He never said he was dodging his taxes. I suspect he makes too little to have to pay anymore. Retired perhaps. I look forward to the day I can forget about paying taxes too. SS is not taxed. Some gov't pensions are not taxed.

Per the article, I hope that all of these Obama approved immigrants are put on buses and shipped right back over the border. Dump them on the Mexican side just like they are being dumped on our side. The tide must be stemmed. We don't need them. We don't want them. We certainly can't afford them. And no, they don't need driver's licenses which make them appear legal.


Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Article comment by: Mark Alan

When you repeat my name like that you just sound like a hair-lip dog, which you probably are. Can't assume you're human since you won't post your name as honest folk do ......
Now its time to pop some bubbles - I went into tax revolt status on Sept. 30th 2008, yep, before you whackamoles voted The Inglorious Barry into office. I did it because good 'ol boy GW said AIG was too big to fail - a massive multi-billion dollar corporation simple had to have a few more billion from honest hard working taxpayers (what a crock!) or the sky was gonna fall right then and there.
I sent 2 emails to 1600 penn. ave., both stating I was out of the income tax shakedown if they did this nonsense. Both times I got a reply thanking me for my input and how much the potus appreciates my opinion .............
I've been a registered independent since 1986, that is until about 2 years ago when the feds unceremoniously revoked my citizenship because I WON the irs shakedown case in court.
I'm a legal non-citizen resident of Arizona who pays medicare & ss, and also sends the State 5% even though I don't have to - just want to be gracious I guess.

The world is a very different place than most in the USA realize, but its now coming at you wholesale. Silly me just thought I could warn you somehow. Too bad, so sad ........


Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Article comment by: @ Mr Alan

Mark, Mark, Mark,

I certainly don't want you and your ilk to 'move on'. As a matter of fact, I would pay for the privilege of watching you cry to your Diety and bemoan the day you ever decided to choose fake news sources over real ones and cringe at the thought that you ever voted Republican.

You'll whine and apologize to the judge for thinking that anyone could really ever get away with dodging their taxes! Then of course it will be off to prison, at least it will be a Federal prison, where you can lament about the unfair treatment you received to a prison full of other Republicans!


Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Article comment by: uncommon sense uncommon sence

Givem all drivers licenses so I can get a hot
tamale delivered at record speed.


Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Article comment by: What Happened?

Since English is the official state language, make the test only available in English. I mean seriously, the sign says STOP, not parar...

Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Article comment by: @Mark Allan

So it's ok they fight for this country, but you don't want them to drive on your highway. Typical one-sided blind right winger, crawl back into your cave you most of you Tea Party neanderthals belong.


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