Feathered Bastard

Jan Brewer's Bigoted Policy Denying Driver's Licenses to DREAMers in Federal Judge's Hands

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Plaintiffs want U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell to turn the clock back to the status quo ante. See, before Brewer's order, the Arizona Department of Transportation issued driver's licenses to all persons granted deferred action by the feds.

In fact, pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute 28-3153, ADOT "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."

ADOT does this by accepting an alien's "employment authorization card" as proof he or she is "authorized under federal law" to be present in the U.S.

In response to Brewer's executive order, ADOT no longer takes the same EAD card from DACA recipients.

Incredibly asinine and mean-spirited, I know. But that's "GED Jan" for you, scorpion-snarfer par excellence. Brewer has even gone so far as to maintain publicly that the purpose of her order is: "No drivers licenses for illegal people."

Which is dumb. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, acting under the authority granted to it by the U.S. Congress, is allowing these DREAMers, who meet certain requirements and pass a background check, to obtain a Social Security Card and an EAD. Meaning, they can work for two years and re-apply when the two years are up.

So why would we want to deny them a driver's license, when the federal government is allowing them to work?

It makes absolutely zero sense, except in the teeny-tiny worm-ravaged mind of Brewer, who knows this deplorable act earns her plaudits from the rednecks and the nativists who don't want to see these young men and women have a chance to better themselves, or just be able to drive a car legally.

Sick. Insane. Twisted. But these are not legal arguments, of course.

The legal arguments were presented in court Friday by Karen Tumlin of the National Immigration Law Center and Jennifer Chang Newell of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project.

Their claim was twofold, that the state's policy is preempted by federal immigration law, and that the policy violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

According to the equal protection clause, "No state shall... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons