Sunday, May 19, 2024

Arizona Governor Receives Backlash from Denying Licenses to Undocumented Youth

While Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is no stranger to controversy, her latest immigration-related decision is causing more backlash than praise.

Brewer is known as having one of the toughest stances on immigration in the nation, making her a popular target of lawsuits from civil rights groups and the federal government. As recently as last week, Brewer decided to deny driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants who had received deferred deportation action, causing a coalition of civil rights organizations to file a lawsuit challenging Arizona’s decision.

“It’s completely contradictory,” says Crystal Williams, Executive Director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “If you give a driver’s license under one of these circumstances, they are all pretty much the same circumstance, so it’s contradictory to say we will give to one but not the other.”

Brewer’s actions are no longer embraced by the Republican Party and other immigration hardliners as much as in the past, prior to the DREAM Act and other proposed legislations. Immediately following President Obama’s deferred action executive order, Brewer made the driver’s licenses decision, leaving critics to question her understanding of the federal immigration law.

“Federal immigration authorities have lifted the shadow of deportation from these bright and hardworking DREAMers, but Arizona insists on pursuing its own immigration policy aimed at keeping them in the dark,” says Jennifer Chang Newell, Staff Attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona Immigrants’ Rights Project. “Rather than deny these young people the ability to drive – an everyday necessity for most people – our leaders should come together to enact long-term solutions that would allow our talented immigrant youth to achieve the American dream.”

The Daily Beast