Saturday, January 24, 2015
Earlier this week, a federal district court judge in Arizona permanently blocked a ban on drivers' licenses for immigrant youth ordered by Governor Jan Brewer. The ruling is the latest in a series of victories for DREAMers in Arizona Dream Act Coalition v. Brewer, a lawsuit brought by civil rights groups challenging the state's denial of licenses to immigrants who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) under a federal program.
MALDEF, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), and the ACLU of Arizona challenged the executive order and related policies in court, alleging that the ban violates DACA recipients' constitutional right to equal protection under the law as well as the principles of federal supremacy in the area of immigration policy and law.
The discriminatory policy was ordered by Governor Brewer in 2012 shortly after the Obama administration announced its DACA program. In July 2014, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the policy was likely unconstitutional and that the group of young people-who have permission from the federal government to live and work in the U.S.-are seriously impaired by their inability to get drivers' licenses.
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Arizona's motion to stay the Ninth Circuit decision. On December 22, 2014, Arizona began issuing driver's licenses to DREAMers for the first time. And, last night, an Arizona District Court reached its final resolution on the case-finding the policy violated the DREAMers' equal protection rights, and entered a permanent injunction of the discriminatory ban.
For a copy of the decision, click here.