Contact Us
Make My Homepage

Court halts Arizona denial of licenses for immigrants

PHOENIX (AP) — An appeals court blocked Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s policy of denying driver’s licenses to young immigrants who have gotten work permits and avoided deportation under an Obama administration policy.

The ruling Monday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals marks a victory for immigrant rights advocates who argued the young immigrants were harmed by unequal treatment by the state.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities to talk to some of the unaccompanied children that crossed the border in Nogales, Ariz., on Wednesday, June 25, 2014. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Michael Schennum)

The appeals court agreed on that issue and said the advocates also showed a likelihood that the immigrants would be harmed by the state’s denial.

The Obama administration in June 2012 took administrative steps to shield thousands of immigrants from deportation. Applicants must have come to the United States before they turned 16, be younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, be in school or have graduated from high school or a GED program, or have served in the military. They also were allowed to apply for a two-year renewable work permit.

Brewer issued an executive order in August 2012 directing state agencies to deny driver’s licenses and other public benefits to young immigrants who get work authorization under the program.

In May 2013, U.S. District Judge David Campbell rejected the argument by immigrant rights advocates who said Brewer’s policy was unconstitutional because it’s trumped by federal law.

But Campbell had said the immigrant rights advocates are likely to succeed in arguing that the state lets some immigrants with work permits get driver’s licenses but won’t let immigrants protected under Obama’s program have the same benefit.

The state revised the policy late last summer by saying it would stop issuing driver’s licenses to all people who receive deportation deferrals from the federal government, not just young immigrants given protection under Obama’s policy.

The governor’s attorneys argued the revision makes the equal-protection arguments moot.

But the immigrants’ lawyers said the revision was a clear attempt to undermine their equal-protection claim and that, despite the state’s claims, the state is still giving licenses to some people with deferred deportation status, such as certain immigrants who are domestic violence victims.

The governor’s attorneys said the driver’s license policy grew out of concerns over the liability of giving licenses to people who aren’t authorized to be in the country and reducing the risk of licenses being used to improperly access public benefits.

The lawsuit alleges the state has in effect classified young-adult immigrants as not having permission to be in the country and that Brewer’s policy is unconstitutional because it’s trumped by federal law.

 

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Best of the Web


Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://nj1015.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on New Jersey 101.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!