Court To Hear Arguments Over Arizona Driver's Licenses For DREAMers

By Jude Joffe-Block
Published: Thursday, July 16, 2015 - 9:44am

A federal appeals court will hear oral argument Thursday morning in Pasadena over whether Arizona must keep providing driver’s licenses to young immigrants who qualify for work permits under an Obama administration program. Arizona had to begin issuing licenses to these DREAMers in December under court orders, but the attorney general appealed.

Arizona is arguing the president’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that granted these young immigrants work permits is unconstitutional. And therefore Arizona can choose to deny them driver’s licenses.

But this will be the second time three judges from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals have heard arguments on the license issue, and they ruled against Arizona last time.

Nicholas Espiritu is with the National Immigration Law Center, which has fought for these immigrants to get licenses.

"Arizona is the last state to attempt to deny driver’s licenses to DACA recipients. It is really an outlier and we are really hoping the 9th circuit puts an end to this case," said Espiritu.

Arizona has spent more than $1.7 million on this case to date.

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