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Friday, July 12, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

High Court Clears Dreamer-Obstruction in AZ

(CN) - Certain undocumented immigrants in Arizona should be allowed to apply for driver's licenses while Arizona appeals to keep so-called "Dreamers" off the road, an order from the Supreme Court published Wednesday states.

After the 9th Circuit overturned her ban, outgoing Gov. Jan Brewer had asked the high court to stay that ruling while she petitions for a writ of certiorari.

Brewer had enacted the ban via executive order after the federal "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" (DACA) program in 2012 deferred immigration-related actions against certain young adults under 31 who were brought to the country as children and have lived here continuously, gone to school and not committed any crimes.

The executive order directed Arizona agencies to prevent DACA recipients from receiving any "state identification, including a driver's license."

Five young immigrants who qualify for DACA joined the Arizona Dream Act Coalition in a federal complaint, but U.S. District Judge David Campbell initially refused these challengers an injunction against Brewer's order.

Brewer now seeks the Supreme Court's help after the 9th Circuit reversed and later denied en banc review of the case.

In her request to Justice Anthony Kennedy for a stay, Brewer argued that the state's petition will raise "basic and important issues concerning the Equal Protection Clause, the Supremacy Clause and federal immigration law."

The court denied Brewer's request without comment Wednesday, noting only that Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito "would grant the application for stay."

It now falls on Judge Campbell to issue an injunction against the executive action, after which the approximately 25,000 Arizonans who qualify for the DACA would be allowed to apply for licenses.

Carla Chavarria, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, called the development "a victory for the community."

"It will change many lives for the better," Chavarria said in a statement. "Personally I will be able to run my business more effectively and no longer have to rely on public transportation. We will be able to contribute to our state without any boundaries."

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