Arizona Capitol

Jan Brewer's Order Denying Driver's Licenses for DREAMers Challenged by Bill

While the ACLU is still suing over Governor Jan Brewer's order to deny driver's licenses to participants in the Obama Administration's deferred-action program, a bill has been submitted that would change the current policy.

Democratic state Representative Catherine Miranda submitted House Bill 2032, which aims to get the people receiving deferred action eligible for driver's licenses, once they receive work permits.

See also:
-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

"A federally issued employment authorization document is proof that the applicant's presence in the United States is authorized under federal law," Miranda's bill proposes.

Right now, there's an argument over whether people in the deferred action program are "authorized" to be in the country, and therefore eligible to apply for a driver's licenses in Arizona.

In November, the ACLU and other organizations filed a lawsuit against Governor Jan Brewer's executive order, which blocks the immigrants who are granted deferred action from obtaining driver's licenses or any other "taxpayer-funded public benefits."

"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."

Recently, the ACLU said federal immigration authorities confirmed the deferred action recipients are "authorized to stay and lawfully present in the country," and the governor's office didn't respond to New Times' request for comment on that thought.

In Brewer's order, she states that the people in the deferred-action program do not have "any lawful or authorized status and does not entitle them to any additional public benefit," which includes driver's licenses.

The lawsuit against Brewer's order will still have to be sorted out at some point, but it looks like Miranda's bill would defeat the effectiveness of Brewer's order.