Feathered Bastard

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

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Tumlin said the federal government has certain privileges states do not enjoy. Moreover, Arizona's statute hinges on whether or not someone is "authorized under federal law" to be in the U.S. DACA recipients are so authorized.

She quoted Brewer's statement about "illegal people," as more evidence of irrationality and discriminatory intent.

"Individuals granted DACA are not `illegal' as the defendant maintains," she stated.

Tumlin batted down many of the other rationales offered for the policy: the tsunami of DACA-approved kids seeking driver's licenses did not materialize; the cost to the state is no more than with other driver's licenses issued, as fees are charged for the service; and DACA beneficiaries receive the same EAD card as other driver's license applicants, so there's no reason for looking into how someone scored an EAD card.

Northup, a somewhat rumpled guy who reminded me a bit of actor Paul Giamatti, did his best to defend the indefensible, claiming that the state is not preempted and that it was exercising a "core state right"

He also contended that DACA "results in a continued violation of federal law," prompting Campbell to accuse him of "punching a straw man."

Campbell asked if the state wasn't creating a "different classification" than the federal government.

Northup denied this was the case, insisting DACA-recipients are not lawfully present. Then he offered a weird analogy, saying it was as if he were to "get liquored up" and get a DUI, but the county attorney's office declined to prosecute him, though, "they still could" in the future.

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