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Appeals Court Rejects Arizona’s Attempt To Deny Immigrants Rights

William A. Hudson

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked an Arizona state policy prohibiting certain immigrants with work permits from obtaining state driver's licenses. In 2012, President Obama issued the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive action, which allows young immigrants to live and work in the United States if they meet certain qualifications, such as attending high school or serving in the Armed Forces. Governor Jan Brewer countered with an order two months later requiring Arizona agencies to deny licenses to those immigrants.  In its Monday decision, the court argued that Arizona’s policy violated equal treatment of certain residents. As Al Jazeera reports:  The three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit said in its ruling that "it could identify no legitimate state interest that was rationally related to defendants' decision to treat DACA recipients disparately from other noncitizens." This isn't the first time Gov. Brewer and her team have enacted immigration policies that have conflicted with the Obama administration. SF Gate notes that "federal courts have also struck down Arizona laws establishing criminal penalties for illegal presence in the state, and banning the harboring or transporting of undocumented immigrants."

William A. Hudson is a summer 2014 In These Times intern.
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