Sunday, July 21, 2024

U.S. Supreme Court rules Arizona can’t bar DREAMers from getting licenses

Arizona’s DREAMers will keep their licenses to drive — at least as long as the DACA exists.

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the last-ditch plea by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich to uphold a 2012 executive order by then-Gov. Jan Brewer to deny driver’s licenses to DACA recipients, an order current Gov. Doug Ducey has left in place.

Shortly after Obama implemented DACA, Brewer directed the Arizona Department of Transportation to deny licenses to DREAMers and cited a 1996 Arizona law that says state licenses are available only to those whose presence in this country is “authorized by federal law.” That argument failed to convince federal appellate judges, who said Arizona cannot decide for itself who is legally entitled to be in the country.

In fact, Judge Harry Pregerson wrote that the state policy “appears intended to express animus toward DACA recipients.” Brewer said she was disappointed not only in yesterday’s ruling but also in the fact that the Justice Department, now under the control of Trump, whom she supported for president, asked the Supreme Court to reject Arizona’s petition.

She also said that the ruling leaves two options going forward; one is for Trump to rescind DACA, something the president has tried to do, but those efforts have so far been blocked by a federal judge and the Supreme Court’s inaction and the other is for Congress to finally address the question, of whether DREAMers should be allowed to stay.

“DACA recipients in Arizona can declare victory in our fight to end the state’s malicious attack that spanned six years and two governors and was aimed at stripping us of basic civil rights,” said Karina Ruiz, executive director of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition.