State Capitol News
8:19 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Lawmaker Says Governor Brewer Isn't Upholding Parts Of The President's Deferred Action Program

A state lawmaker is claiming that a new federal memo shows that Governor Jan Brewer is wrong in denying drivers' licenses to those in the president's deferred action program. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fisher reports.

The program allows those who arrived here as children to remain in the country and work if they meet certain conditions. But last year the governor said they do not meet the requirements of Arizona law that driver's license applicants prove their presence in this country is - quote - authorized under federal law. Brewer said the program does not authorize anyone to be in the United States but simply says they will not be deported, at least for the time being. But Rep. Steve Gallardo said in a memo issued Friday by Citizenship and Immigration Services shows otherwise.

Gallardo says, "The federal government has made it clear, under new guidelines, that they do have legal presence in this country, and it therefore takes care of her legal concerns. It should open up the doors to allow those young people to obtain driver's licenses."

The state has issued - and continues to issue - licenses to other illegal immigrants given federal work permits. Gallardo believes the memo shows that Brewer's distinction is wrong and says, "they have come out clearly to state that this deferred action program, the childhood arrival program, is no different than any other deferred action. Why are we allowing driver licenses for certain class of folks under the deferred action but not the Obama deferred action?"

Gubernatorial press aide Matthew Benson said he could not say when - or if - Brewer will reconsider her order.