by David Safier
Jan Brewer has once again put Arizona in the forefront of immigrant haters. Young immigrants in Arizona who want to take advantage of Obama's "deferred-action" program have been put on notice that Brewer wants to make sure they get as little as possible from the program.
How much effect will her executive order have? The jury is out. Talking Points Memo quotes David Schapira as saying this is more about grandstanding than actual substantive policy. But if the order blocks people from getting driver's licenses and makes them pay out-of-state tuition at community colleges and universities, that's a very big deal.
Obama's program is an important but tentative first step, probably the best he can do in the face of Republican opposition to the Dream Act. But Brewer's reaction, which is sure to trigger similar action from other reactionary Republican governors, shows how important it is to put the Dream Act and other immigrant reform laws on the books.
I certainly hope, by the way, the adjective "illegal" is dropped from the description of people who are accepted into the deferred action program. I can't see how there will be anything illegal about the status of people who have had their undocumented status deferred. They will have documentation saying they are not currently in the country illegally. Back in the days of the draft, someone who got a student or a medical deferment wasn't a draft dodger. It sounds like the same thing to me.