The ACLU and other pro-illegal alien groups sued Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer today to block her executive order denying driver’s licenses to illegal aliens who get executive amnesty under the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. If successful, the lawsuit could affect other states that have denied licenses to DACA recipients.
Gov. Brewer’s executive order directs state agencies to ensure that DACA recipients do not receive any public benefits, including driver’s licenses. It was issued on August 15, 2012, the day the Obama Administration began accepting DACA applications. Illegal aliens who qualify for DACA get a two-year stay from deportation and a work permit.
The suit argues that Brewer’s executive order violates the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution by interfering with federal immigration law, and violates the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause by discriminating against certain non-citizens. The class-action suit was brought on behalf of five illegal aliens who obtained DACA status.
State law requires driver’s license applicants to prove their presence in the United States is legal. Brewer has said that the work permits issued to DACA recipients don’t meet state law because they do not provide legal status. Arizona has granted driver’s licenses to non-citizens with work permits in the past but those people were legal immigrants or non-immigrants.
Several other states have denied driver’s licenses to DACA recipients but only Arizona has been challenged so far. The pro-illegal alien groups pushing the case – the American Civil Liberties Union, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the National Immigration Law Center – are the same groups that challenged Arizona’s SB 1070 law.
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