Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva says it's pretty clear that deferred action beneficiaries should be allowed to apply for driver's licenses.
Grijalva, and previously, the ACLU, have disagreed with the executive order issued by Governor Jan Brewer, in which she stated that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program do not have "any lawful or authorized status and does not entitle them to any additional public benefit," which includes driver's licenses.
-Jan Brewer "Kinder, Gentler" on Immigration? Republic Dons Kneepads for Governor
-Jan Brewer's Order Denying Driver's Licenses for DREAMers Challenged by Bill
-ACLU: Feds Clarify Deferred Action Recipients Should Be Able to Get Driver's Licenses
-Jan Brewer's Order to Deny Driver's Licenses Earns Her a Lawsuit
-Jan Brewer to DREAMers: State Laws Bar You from Drivers Licenses
-Jan Brewer's Order Has "Absolutely No Basis Under State or Federal Law," ACLU Says
The ACLU and Grijalva are pointing to a guide on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website, which gets into terminology related to immigration law, but seems to contradict Brewer's order.
"An individual who has received deferred action is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to be present in the United States, and is therefore considered by DHS to be lawfully present during the period deferred action is in effect," the website says. "However, deferred action does not confer lawful status upon an individual, nor does it excuse any previous or subsequent periods of unlawful presence."
That said, let Grijalva's smack-down-via-press-release of Governor Jan Brewer commence.
"Governor Brewer's executive order was callous pandering, and DHS is right to put social progress and our economy ahead of the tired politics of division," Grijalva's statement says. "The new guidelines confirm that young immigrant students brought to the country as children are authorized to be here. That debate is over. State lawmakers and agencies should immediately take note.
"This is not the first time Governor Brewer has been on the wrong side of a ruling," Grijalva continues. "Arizona cannot continue to invent its own immigration policies every time she reads a poll. It's cost this state too much. When the federal government, the business community, and neighborhood activists agree on the need for a new approach, maybe it's time for the governor to listen."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
To further increase the burn factor on Brewer, Grijalva's office points out an Arizona Republic report, in which Brewer's office says it's "too early to say how the governor will respond" to the guidelines.
Brewer's office didn't answer New Times' request for comment, and 12 News' Brahm Resnik says the governor's office told him Brewer's "still deciding" how to respond.
If Brewer doesn't change her mind, a decision on the matter probably will come out of the lawsuit filed by the ACLU and other groups, which claims that Brewer's order essentially declares that people who are granted "authorized" presence are actually "unauthorized," which would seem like an unfair thing to do.
"As stated by Defendant Brewer, the Executive Order makes clear that there will be 'no drivers licenses for illegal people,' and in her opinion, '[t]he Obama amnesty plan doesn't make them [legal] here,'" the lawsuit states. "Defendant Brewer's Executive Order reflects her apparent disagreement with the federal government's decision to allow young immigrants who qualify under the DACA program to remain in the United States."