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Activists Challenge Arizona’s Denial of Driver’s Licenses to Immigrants with ‘Deferred Status’
On Thursday, five immigrants who qualify for deferred status under the new policy of President Barack Obama challenged the executive order of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer preventing illegal immigrants from obtaining driver’s licenses.
Brewer’s ban includes illegal immigrants who have received ‘temporary legal status’ under the deferred action policy of the federal government.
The Arizona Dream Act Coalition, a local activist group for young immigrants, also joined the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the National Immigration Law Center.
The lawsuit challenges the governor’s executive order as unconstitutional and seeks to block it. Brewer had issued the order on August 15, following the relaxation of deportation rules by Obama in June.
Brewer maintains that the new policy of Obama “deferring” deportation of certain qualified illegal immigrants did not “confer upon them any lawful or authorized status and does not entitle them to any additional public benefits.”
Brewer is also known for signing a controversial bill for checking the immigration status of immigrants in 2010, which was challenged by critics, but was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in June. That law allows police to stop people upon suspicion that they are illegally in the country, and demand to check their immigration status.
President Obama had already announced earlier this month, after winning the election, that he wants a comprehensive overhaul of the country’s immigration system.
The federal government wants that the qualified persons from the 11.2 million illegal immigrants in the country should find a way to citizenship, emerge from the shadows and lack of rights, and start paying taxes as soon as possible, helping to correct imbalances in the economy.