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It took a decision from the Supreme Court, but Jan Brewer’s executive order denying Arizona DREAMers driver’s licenses is finally out of legal options, paving the way for immigrant youth in the state to begin applying as soon as this week.
It’s a case that stretches back to 2012 and the very first day of DACA implementation, when Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer announced an executive order that others called “mean spirited” and indicative of her “unlimited supply of antagonism toward the undocumented” — prohibiting DACA-mented DREAMers in her state from obtaining driver’s licenses. Only one other state (Nebraska) in the entire nation does the same. Over the years, the case wound through the courts, being struck down by the 9th Circuit and then rejected for reconsideration by the 9th Circuit. Brewer asked the 9th Circuit for a delay while she petitioned for an overrule by the Supreme Court, which was denied. In one last desperate attempt to be cruel, Brewer then asked the Supreme Court for a delay, which was denied today. There are 22,000 DACA-mented DREAMers in Arizona who will finally be able to apply and test for driver’s licenses.
According to the Arizona Republic, Dulce Matuz, president of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, was ecstatic, breaking down in tears of joy after hearing the news.
“It’s a great victory,” said Matuz, one of the plaintiffs. “At this point, I am so happy. So relieved…It means that dreamers are going to be able to get better jobs” because now they will be able to drive legally.
Echoed Jennifer Chang Newell, a senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants’ Rights Project, one of several organizations that sued the state:
The Supreme Court’s decision is a big holiday present for the dreamers and a lump of coal for Gov. Brewer. It’s time for Arizona leaders to put this unwise discriminatory policy behind them and let it end with Gov. Brewer’s term.