Court Enjoins Arizona's Driver License Limitation

"Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer was wrong to bar some young immigrants from receiving driver’s licenses, a panel of federal judges ruled today.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division to end its policy of denying licenses to young immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.  This group of young people—who have permission from the federal government to live and work in the U.S.—are seriously harmed by their inability to get drivers’ licenses, the court said.

The court ruled that Arizona’s license denial policy is likely unconstitutional because it improperly discriminates against some young immigrants.  This is the latest legal step in a civil rights coalition’s lawsuit against the discriminatory policy, which prevented Arizona youth granted work authorization through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program from applying for state-issued identification.

The National Immigration Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Mexican American Legal and Educational Fund and the ACLU of Arizona challenged Gov. Brewer’s executive order and related policies in court, alleging the ban violates DREAMers’ constitutional right to equal protection of the laws. 

“Today, the federal courts had to step in to prevent Arizona from discriminating against the DACA recipients that it should be embracing,” said Victor Viramontes, MALDEF National Senior Counsel, who argued the case in the Ninth Circuit. “After yet another loss in court, Arizona should stop its senseless battle against immigrants.”

For a copy of the order, visit: https://nilc.org/document.html?id=1112.

For more information about the lawsuit challenging the policy in Arizona denying driver’s licenses to DREAMers, visit: http://nilc.org/driverlicenselitigation.html." - NILC, July 7, 2014.