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Arizona reconsiders license ban

Jan. 25, 2013 at 9:12 AM

PHOENIX, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Arizona lawmakers are reviewing a state law that denies driver's licenses to young people who recently received immigration relief and work permits.

In August, Gov. Jan Brewer issued an executive order banning driver's licenses to some youths who had qualified for the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The DACA program was created by President Barack Obama to protect some youths who are in the country illegally from deportation and allows them to live and work in the United States for two years.

The Obama administration issued new guidelines this week that stated anyone accepted into the program is deemed "lawfully present" in the country.

As of this week, just three states, Arizona, Nebraska and Michigan, were still denying driver's licenses to those qualifying for the program.

"I know she would like to resolve this issue as quickly as possible but also needs time," Brewer's spokesman, Matthew Benson, said Thursday.

Michael Tan, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants' Rights Project, said he was hopeful Michigan would change its laws to allow licenses to youths accepted into the program.

"I think that Arizona is a different situation," Tan said. "There are certain states wanting to take immigration law matters in their own hands when they are not authorized to do so."

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