Last week, Arizona stopped giving driver’s licenses to all immigrants who receive any form of deferred action from deportation, not just those approved for President Barack Obama’s program aimed at “dreamers” — the young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
Civil-rights and advocacy groups blasted the state’s decision to expand the driver’s-license ban to all immigrants who receive deferred action. They say it was made to defend the state against a federal lawsuit challenging an executive order by Gov. Jan Brewer’s denying driver’s licenses to dreamers who receive deferred action.
The state made the change after a U.S. District Court judge in May agreed that the state’s earlier policy of denying driver’s licenses to immigrants who receive work permits through Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program likely violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The judge noted the state already granted driver’s licenses to immigrants who receive work permits through other forms of deferred action.