DREAMers scored a huge victory yesterday after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a 2015 decision from District Court Judge David Campbell and ruled that Arizona must keep issuing driver’s licenses to young immigrants protected by DACA.
The decision came in the appeal of a lawsuit in 2012 filed by a coalition of civil liberties and civil rights groups. It is one of a series of victories against a ban on driver’s licenses for the DACA youth that had been ordered by former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. Young people who have qualified for DACA are allowed to remain in the U.S. without threat of deportation and with permission to work.
Nationwide, some 700,000 young immigrants are protected by DACA. Attorneys representing the DACA recipients who sued Arizona argued that DREAMers would suffer irreparable harm under Brewer’s order. Without a driver’s license, DACA recipients can face serious difficulties going to school and obtaining a job.
And ultimately, the courts sided with DREAMers.
“Today once again we celebrate a win as the [Ninth] Circuit Court of Appeals sides on the right side of history and shuts down Arizona’s irrational and unconstitutional attempt to keep dreamers off the road,” the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition said.
“Arizona has been stubbornly fighting this legal battle for almost four years,” said Jennifer Chang, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants’ Rights Project.
“These young people have been getting on with their lives, legally driving in all 50 states now and contributing their talents all across the country, and it’s really time for Arizona to move on as well.”
The office of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich — who filed the initial appeal to the Ninth Circuit following Campbell’s ruling — is reviewing the decision.
But with the courts repeatedly siding with DREAMers, any further attempts to stop issuing licenses to these young men and women may prove fruitless. As Chang said: “It’s really time for Arizona to move on.”
Congrats to all the DREAMers in Arizona!