DACA Recipients Sue Over Inability To Get Driver?s Licenses

July 09, 2013

The state of Arizona has retained a former immigration official as an expert in a bid to deny driver’s licenses to ‘dreamers’ eligible for the deferred action program. That program allows children who came to the country illegally to stay in the United States and to work here. But, Governor Brewer has refused to issue them driver’s licenses, citing a 1996 Arizona law requiring applicants to prove their presence in the country is authorized by federal law. Some DACA recipients sued. Robert Brown, a former immigration official, says deferred action is not authorization. The governor’s spokesman matt Benson says that backs up his boss’s decision.

“What sets the DACA program apart is it was never approved by Congress,” Brown said. “This deferred action program is not enshrined in federal law. That’s why this program different than the one given to domestic violence victims and political refugees and all the rest.”

U.S. District Judge David Campbell has suggested the challengers could win the suit on equal protection grounds, if they can show those in the DACA program are legally identical to people in other programs who have been licensed. 

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