Arizona expands immigrants driver's license ban

Sept. 18, 2013 at 3:59 PM
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PHOENIX, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Arizona announced it is expanding its ban on driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants to include those granted deferral from deportation.

The policy change was announced in federal court Tuesday in a lawsuit accusing Gov. Jan Brewer of discriminating against young undocumented workers who receive federal work permits through the federal deportation deferral program.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals went into effect in August 2012. Those most affected by the state's decision are individuals granted deferred action on humanitarian grounds, The (Phoenix) Arizona Republic reported Wednesday.

Although President Barack Obama has said the deferrals give immigrants a legal presence in the United States, Brewer has maintained they still are not eligible for Arizona driver's licenses, arguing only Congress can grant legal status to non-citizens.

State officials said Tuesday a legal review showed those granted deferred action do not have legal presence and remain in deportation proceedings. Thus, Arizona will no longer offer driver's licenses or other state identifications to immigrants who get work permits through deferred action.

"Recipients of regular deferred action and deferred enforced departure ... cannot demonstrate authorized presence under federal law," Andrew Wilder, the governor's spokesman, told the newspaper.

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