(Is This a Joke?) Arizona Set to Appeal Driver's Licenses for DREAMers

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Arizona DREAMers have been allowed to get driver's licenses since Dec. 22, 2014. - MARIA INÉS TARACENA
  • Maria Inés Taracena
  • Arizona DREAMers have been allowed to get driver's licenses since Dec. 22, 2014.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich is ready to continue the legal fight to strip DREAMers off driver's licenses.

Last month, U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell made permanent a December preliminary injunction that allowed young immigrants under President Obama's DACA program, which in 2012 granted hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought here as children renewable work permits, social security cards and relief from deportation, to start getting licenses. That decision was thought to have made it official that Arizona cannot prohibit DREAMers from applying for driver's licenses.

Brnovich yesterday filed a notice of appeal to overturn that ruling.

Apparently, the state is still very interested in spending millions (they've already spent about $1.5 million in legal fees) to carry on former Gov. Jan Brewer's torch, saying driving is "a privilege not a right," and that the discretion of granting licenses should be up to the state not the federal government—words all too similar to Brewer's arguments.

Since 2012, federal courts continuously ruled against Brewer's executive action, which she announced the same day the DACA program went into effect. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has even said in the past that the policy is likely unconstitutional and that it shouldn't proceed.

In Dec. 17, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy rejected a last-minute appeal by the state, and that's when Campbell issued a preliminary injunction that let roughly 22,000 Arizonans under DACA start applying for licenses five days later.

The permanent injunction could now head to the 9th Circuit and maybe event to the U.S. Supreme Court, as Brewer intended it to during her final days as governor.

The only other state to deny DREAMers licenses is Nebraska.





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