Lawyers Ask For Final Ruling In DACA Driver's License Case

By Jude Joffe-Block
Published: Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - 10:18pm
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It’s been more than two weeks since Arizona began issuing driver’s licenses to young immigrants in response to a federal appeals court’s preliminary injunction. But the legal case still isn’t over yet.

Lawyers from both sides of the case appeared in federal court in Phoenix on Wednesday afternoon to ask U.S. District Judge David Campbell to decide the case in their favor without a trial.

Araceli Martinez-Olguin of the American Civil Liberties Union represents the plaintiffs in the case, who are young immigrants who qualify for work permits but had been denied driver’s licenses under Arizona’s policy.

"What we want is for the judge to rule that he doesn’t need to have a trial," Martinez-Olguin said. "That based on the evidence that we have already put in front of him, that he has enough information to enter judgement for us."

Or in other words, permanently strike down the state’s ban on licenses for these young immigrants.

Lawyers for the state, meanwhile, want to be able to reinstate their policy denying these immigrants licenses. They argued the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals didn’t have all the information when it blocked the state's policy last year in a preliminary injunction.

So far Arizona has spent more than $1.5 million in legal bills to defend its policy, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. 

Should Campbell decide to rule in favor with one side rather than take the case to trial, the other side will likely appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.