You Heard the Court, Gov. Brewer: Give the DREAMers Their Licenses

Until now, thousands of young Arizonans have been prevented from getting jobs, going to school, or even attending to sick children – all thanks to Gov. Jan Brewer's ban on granting them driver's licenses.

That situation is set to change soon. A federal appeals court issued a stinging rebuke to the governor in a decision this week. According to the judges, denying these young immigrants the ability to drive harms them irreparably and likely violates their constitutional rights.

The suit was brought by the ACLU and other civil rights groups on behalf of DREAMers – immigrants who have grown up in the United States without documentation and consider this country their home. In 2012, the Obama administration announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which grants DREAMers federal permission to work and to remain in the country. In keeping with her anti-immigrant stance, Gov. Brewer lashed out immediately. She issued an executive order banning Arizona's DACA recipients from getting driver's licenses and called them "illegal people" who shouldn't qualify for a state-issued ID.

One of those people is 24-year-old Korina Iribe, who came to this country at age five. Her DACA status has finally enabled her to afford community college. But she says that without a driver's license she can't rent an apartment, apply for a bank account, or even prove her identity. "To me Governor Brewer's order was an attempt to dehumanize and strip DREAMers of our identities," Korina says. "She wanted us to be treated as second class citizens, and she didn't care at what expense."

In a state where the overwhelming majority of residents drive and only two percent take public transportation, many young Arizonans have little choice but to drive illegally.

Take the case of one of the people in the lawsuit — a single mother who has a five-year-old son with special needs. In order to provide the specialized care he needs, she drives without a license to get him across town to school and to medical appointments. Every time she does so, she endures the agonizing fear that they will be stopped by police and her car impounded. She has a temporary job without health benefits. But when her supervisors recommended her for a permanent position with full benefits, she couldn't apply because it required a driver's license.

Until Arizona follows the court's order, it remains the only state along with Nebraska that denies driver's licenses to DACA recipients. The federal government, the courts, and 48 other states all agree: DACA grantees are legally present in the United States and should be able to work and to provide for their families.

Meanwhile, DREAMers like Korina Iribe are already celebrating. "I am more than ecstatic," she says. "I will finally be able to fill out applications that ask for my Arizona driver's license number, and most importantly, I will be recognized as an Arizonan for the first time."

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Tired of Nonsense

Let's be clear: The "Dreamers" listed in the article are people who entered the United States illegally...some as very young children. President Obama -- in an attempt to pander to Hispanic voters -- issued an executive order that indicated the U.S. Government would not seek out nor deport these illegal immigrants.

Governor Brewer -- the elected representative of her state -- issued an executive decision that illegal immigrants would not be able to obtain driver's licenses in Arizona. Some liberal-minded people felt the poor illegal immigrants were being "victimized", so they filed a lawsuit with the 9th Federal Appeals Court (three justices...appointed by Clinton, Carter, and Obama). The activist appeals court sided with President Obama and ordered Arizona to issue licenses. Now Governor Brewer and Arizona are contemplating taking this to the Supreme Court (and I think they should).

So, in the meantime, the same liberal-minded folks are screaming that Arizona needs to start issuing licenses. They make claims that the illegal immigrants can't function without licenses. Despite the fact that the illegal immigrants can obtain state issued identification (which would permit them to open bank accounts, apply for jobs, rent apartments, etc), and that they can utilize public transportation, people still feel they are victims. Despite the fact that the illegal immigrants get the benefit of our taxes (medical care, schooling, in-state tuition, medicaid, food stamps, etc.) without paying into the system, there are still liberal-minded folks out there who feel they should be given more.

What happened to the days when people respected the laws? What happened to the days when people didn't cry "victim" at every opportunity? What happened to the days when folks were responsible for themselves and their actions?

You know what...on second thought...I hope Arizona gives every illegal immigrant a driver's license. I hope they take their pictures, get their names and addresses, and give them driver's licenses. And then, in two years, when a Socialist is no longer in the White House, and the DACA executive order expires, we'll know exactly who to go grab and deport. In the meantime, my message to all of the illegal immigrants in the country is to apply for U.S. citizenship like all of the legal immigrants did before you.

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