Gov. Brewer Asks Court to Block Dreamer Licenses

Sep 3, 2014

Attorneys for Gov. Jan Brewer want federal appellate judges to reject a plea to force her to start issuing licenses right now to dreamers. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports.

Credit Cheryl Evans/The Republic

Brewer’s lawyers do not dispute that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded in June the governor is likely violating the rights of those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program by refusing to let them drive. And, the court directed a trial judge to order Brewer to issue the licenses while the case goes forward. But that judge refused, pointing out Brewer has appealed the ruling. So now the governor’s legal team wants the appellate judges who ruled against them in July to keep the licenses out of dreamers’ hands, at least for the time being.

Jorge Castillo, an attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said that argument ignores what the appellate court already has concluded about the refusal of Brewer and her Department of Transportation to issue the licenses.

“Essentially what the defendants’ position is, is that they should be allowed to continue to violate the constitutional rights for the foreseeable future. We think it should be stopped right now,” Castillo said.

Castillo said the Obama administration, in allowing those who arrived as children to remain, also gave them papers allowing them to work legally in this country. He said that right is impaired by their inability to drive. But Brewer contends Arizona law allows only those “authorized” to be in this country to get a driver’s license. And, she says the decision by the federal government not to deport them is not the same as authorization.