Arizona to Deny Driver's Licenses to All Deferred Deportees

Under fire for refusing to issue driver's licenses to young people permitted to stay in the U.S. under President Obama's deferred deportation program, Arizona has decided that anyone whose deportation has been deferred, including abused women and children, would be ineligible.
September 19, 2013
 

Under fire for refusing to issue driver's licenses to young people permitted to stay in the U.S. under President Obama's deferred deportation program, Arizona has decided that anyone whose deportation has been deferred, including abused women and children, would be ineligible.

After Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program by executive order last year, Gov. Jan Brewer called it "deferred amnesty" and mandated that no one covered by it would receive a driver's license.

Immigrant rights groups sued, contending in part that Arizona's policy violates equal protection of the law. The lawsuit is pending, but a federal judge has said the plaintiffs will probably prevail.

That prompted state officials to notify the judge that Arizona would broaden its limits on driver's licenses and would not issue them to anyone whose deportation had been deferred under certain programs.

In a statement late Tuesday, Arizona's Department of Transportation said state law precluded the department "from issuing an Arizona driver license or identification card to any applicant who cannot demonstrate, by proof satisfactory to the director and [Department of Transportation], that the applicant's presence in the United States is authorized under federal law."

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