Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Tenther "states' rights" George Wallace in a dress, Governor Jan Brewer, was sued today by a group of civil-liberties and immigrant-rights organizations in a class-action lawsuit challenging the Guv's executive order denying driver’s licenses to young undocumented immigrants approved for federal work permits under President Barack Obama’s deferred-action program (DREAM Act-Lite). Brewer sued over migrant license policy:
The lawsuit seeks to block Arizona Executive Order 2012-06, issued by Jan Brewer after the federal government implemented the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. The program allows certain undocumented immigrant youth who came here as children to live and work in the United States for a renewable period of two years. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, an immigrant youth-led organization, and five young individuals.
The lawsuit marks the first legal challenge against a state for denying driver’s licenses to young undocumented immigrants authorized to live and work temporarily in the U.S. under the program.
The lawsuit could affect other states that have also denied driver’s licenses to non-citizens protected from deportation under the program.
The suit was filed by the Arizona and national chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the National Immigration Law Center. The same groups are involved in an ongoing civil-rights lawsuit challenging Arizona’s immigration-enforcement law, Senate Bill 1070.
The lawsuit claims that Arizona’s policy violates the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution by interfering with federal immigration law, and also violates the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause by discriminating against certain non-citizens. Arizona’s motor vehicle division implemented Brewer’s order on Sept. 18.
* * *
“This lawsuit and the state having to defend that lawsuit has been long expected,” said Gerald Burns, a Chandler immigration lawyer who represents several young undocumented immigrants who have applied for deferred action under the program.
The deferred-action program, announced by Obama on June 15, allows young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to apply for a two-year reprieve from deportation. Those approved for the program by meeting criteria, including graduating from high school or obtaining a GED diploma, and passing a criminal-background check, also receive a federal employment-authorization document, or work permit.
Immigrant advocates say deferred-action recipients need driver’s licenses to travel to school and jobs.
As many as 1.7 million undocumented immigrants under 31 brought to the U.S. before they were 16 could be eligible for the program, including 80,000 in Arizona.
A total of 308,935 undocumented immigrants had applied for deferred action nationally, including 11,074 in Arizona, as of Nov. 15, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
A total of 53,273 nationally have been approved, according to the DHS.
* * *
State law requires anyone applying for a driver’s license to prove their presence in the United States is authorized under federal law. Brewer has argued that the employment-authorization documents issued to deferred-action recipients don’t meet state law because DHS officials have said the documents don’t give undocumented immigrants any sort of legal status, just the ability to live and work in the U.S. temporarily without the threat of being deported.
But Brewer’s order contradicts the state’s long-standing policy of granting driver’s licenses to non-citizens, including illegal immigrants, with the same employment-authorization documents granted to deferred-action recipients, said Regina Jefferies, chair of the Arizona chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
For years, the federal government has granted work permits to non-citizens for a variety of reasons, including to illegal immigrants with deportation-cancellation cases pending in Immigration Court.
Last week, The Arizona Republic and its broadcast partner 12 News reported that over the past eight years, Arizona has issued licenses and state ID cards nearly 40,000 times to non-citizens who had federal employment-authorization documents, according to data obtained through a public-records request from the MVD. The data also showed that since Brewer’s order, the state has issued more than 1,000 driver’s licenses or ID cards to non-citizens with work permits while denying licenses to those with work permits issued through Obama’s program.
* * *
“Does it really make sense for the state of Arizona to fight and expend resources on this?” Burns said. “The rest of the U.S. is moving towards doing something about comprehensive immigration reform.”
Muzaffar Chishti, of the Migration Policy Institute’s office at New York University School of Law, said four states in addition to Arizona have taken action to deny driver’s licenses to deferred-action recipients: Nebraska, Texas, Michigan and Mississippi.
None has faced a legal challenge.
Four other states, California, Massachusetts, Georgia and Wisconsin, specifically allow deferred-action recipients to get driver’s licenses.
Governor Brewer's Tenther "states' rights" temper tantrums to maintain her "star" status in the conservative entertainment complex are costing this state money in attorneys fees and costs.