Jan Brewer's Bigoted Policy Denying Driver's Licenses to DREAMers in Federal Judge's Hands

Karen222.jpg
Karen Tumlin, one of the two lawyers who argued for the DREAMers Friday in federal court...

Few public acts by Governor Jan Brewer have been so odious, so hateful and so obviously unfair as her executive order denying driver's licenses to those young men and women, brought here as children, who benefit from President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

See also:
-Jan Brewer Not on TIME List of Influential People, but DREAM Act Proponent in Past New Times Cover Story Makes the Cut
-Undocumented Youth Blocked from Entering the U.S. Workforce Are Starting Their Own Businesses to Survive

Brewer's August 15, 2012 order is so patently bigoted and spiteful that it almost trumps Brewer's signing of ex-state Senate President Russell Pearce's racist Senate Bill 1070.

But this is Sand Land, where little love or sympathy exists in GOP circles for brown folk, no matter how young and innocent.

Indeed, considering how backward this state is when it comes to racial and ethnic relations, I suppose we should be happy Brewer isn't on the Capitol lawn once a week burning a cross, her white sheet flapping in the wind.

The ACLU, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the National Immigration Law Center -- basically, the good guys -- are suing Brewer, seeking to halt Brewer's Executive Order 2012-06, blocking DREAMers from driving legally.

Lawyers for the different groups were in federal district court in Phoenix on Friday for oral arguments on a motion for preliminary injunction and a motion from lawyers for Brewer and ADOT seeking dismissal.

dreamerlicense.jpg
A DREAMer outside the Sandra Day O'Connor U.S. Courthouse after the hearing

Plaintiffs want U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell to turn the clock back to the status quo ante. See, before Brewer's order, the Arizona Department of Transportation issued driver's licenses to all persons granted deferred action by the feds.

In fact, pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute 28-3153, ADOT "shall not issue to or renew a driver license or nonoperating identification license for a person who does not submit proof satisfactory to the department that the applicant's presence in the United States is authorized under federal law."

ADOT does this by accepting an alien's "employment authorization card" as proof he or she is "authorized under federal law" to be present in the U.S.

In response to Brewer's executive order, ADOT no longer takes the same EAD card from DACA recipients.

Incredibly asinine and mean-spirited, I know. But that's "GED Jan" for you, scorpion-snarfer par excellence. Brewer has even gone so far as to maintain publicly that the purpose of her order is: "No drivers licenses for illegal people."

Which is dumb. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, acting under the authority granted to it by the U.S. Congress, is allowing these DREAMers, who meet certain requirements and pass a background check, to obtain a Social Security Card and an EAD. Meaning, they can work for two years and re-apply when the two years are up.

So why would we want to deny them a driver's license, when the federal government is allowing them to work?

It makes absolutely zero sense, except in the teeny-tiny worm-ravaged mind of Brewer, who knows this deplorable act earns her plaudits from the rednecks and the nativists who don't want to see these young men and women have a chance to better themselves, or just be able to drive a car legally.

Sick. Insane. Twisted. But these are not legal arguments, of course.

The legal arguments were presented in court Friday by Karen Tumlin of the National Immigration Law Center and Jennifer Chang Newell of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project.

Their claim was twofold, that the state's policy is preempted by federal immigration law, and that the policy violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

According to the equal protection clause, "No state shall... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."


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50 comments
Cozz
Cozz

Arizona leadership, making themselves look look like the dumbasses they are by losing cases continually.

IHATETHIEVES
IHATETHIEVES

Illegal immigrant gets prison time in 'total identity theft'

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — For almost 12 years, a Houston elementary school teacher and an illegal immigrant living in Topeka have engaged in a tug of war to claim the identity of Candida L. Gutierrez in a case that has put a face on the growing crime of "total identity theft" in the United States.

On Monday, the real Candida L. Gutierrez saw her identity thief, Benita Cardona-Gonzalez, for the first time. Their encounter came inside a federal courtroom in Wichita, where Cardona-Gonzalez, a Mexican national, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for possessing fraudulent identification documents.

The plea deal Cardona-Gonzalez struck with prosecutors in January gave her less prison time, but guaranteed she would not contest her deportation. She pleaded guilty to an aggravated felony, which typically results in automatic deportation.

When Gutierrez's identity was stolen, the thief didn't stop at opening fraudulent credit and bank accounts. Cardona-Gonzalez assumed Gutierrez's persona completely, using it to get a job, a driver's license, a mortgage and medical care for her children. She even put the stolen name on the birth certificates of her two U.S.-born children in the spots where they list who's the mother.

Gutierrez and her husband, Brenden Marquardt, flew to Wichita from Houston for the court proceedings hoping to gain a sense of closure.

"I wanted to make sure I could see her face and she could see my face — so that she knew the face of the person who paid for living her dream," Gutierrez said. "Because her dream was my nightmare."

Cardona-Gonzales briefly glanced at Gutierrez while giving a hurried courtroom statement in Spanish.

"I accept my punishment and I accept my responsibility and I ask forgiveness of Ms. Gutierrez," she said.

Gutierrez first learned her identity had been hijacked when she was turned down for a mortgage. Each year she trudges to the Social Security Administration with her birth certificate, driver's license, passport and even school yearbooks to prove her identity and clear her employment record.

She spends hours on the phone with creditors and credit bureaus, fills out affidavits and has yet to clean up her credit history. Her tax records are a mess. She even once phoned the impostor's Kansas employer in a futile effort to find some relief.

Both women had claimed they were identity theft victims and sought to get new Social Security numbers. The Social Security Administration turned down Gutierrez's request and instead issued a new number to the woman impersonating her.

And in another ironic twist, Gutierrez was forced to file her federal income tax forms using a special identification number usually reserved for illegal immigrants.

Their struggle finally came to a head when Gutierrez got married a year ago, and her new husband set out to clear her credit history. He traced the identity thief to Topeka and on the Internet he found a press release from the U.S. attorney's office in Kansas about the prosecutions of other illegal immigrants working at Reser's Fine Foods, the same manufacturer where Cardona-Gonzalez worked. He contacted federal authorities in Kansas, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson took up their case.

"I don't think we would ever have solved this issue without Brent's help," Marquardt said.

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren called the case a "classic example" of the harm done by identity theft, saying people who characterize the cases as victimless crimes are uninformed. He said he had some reservations about the 18-month prison sentence and whether it was enough, but decided it was acceptable to meet sentencing objectives and bring closure to the victim.

Defense attorney Matthew Works told the court that his client didn't have an understanding of how difficult it is for the victim to get her identity back. He said after the hearing that Cardona-Gonzalez has authorized him to do anything he can to "try to fix it" so Gutierrez could regain her identity.

Still pending before the court is a prosecution request that Melgren order the Kansas Office of Vital Statistics to correct the name of the mother on the birth certificates issued to Cardona-Gonzalez's two children who were born in Kansas.

Anderson is also helping Gutierrez obtain a new Social Security number and sort out the legal tangle from the foreclosure of the house Cardona-Gonzalez bought in Topeka under the false identity.

Gutierrez said she did not know whether Cardona-Gonzalez's apology in court was sincere, or whether it should even be up to her to forgive her.

"I don't want to think about it anymore," Gutierrez said after the hearing. "It is done."

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

Giving a two year moritorium to these folks in exchange for their admittance that they are here illegally does not contitute legal residency.  At the end of the two years (with only a little more than a year left) there is a strong probablility the Feds ramp up deportation hearings.  Giving them drivers licenses that don't expire at the same time the moritorium ends would be creating a whole new wave of problems.

Don Blank
Don Blank

Probably only eats food picked or processed by citizens too

Lucious Lysander
Lucious Lysander

Jay, get info. This is only for deferred action people she's denying the licenses to. There are plenty of non-citizens already with licenses

Jay Zarecki
Jay Zarecki

If they are not citizens, no licence.

valleynative
valleynative

Brewer is in the wrong, but it's actually a form of bigotry to assert that her actions are, themselves, based on bigotry.   She is anti-illegal, as are most people.  It's not bigotry to discriminate against people who are breaking the law.

Lauren Rosenwade
Lauren Rosenwade

Always comes down to the $$ & who will/will not vote for her/them...and her stake in the private prisons, etc.......

Don Blank
Don Blank

It's just the mean spirited loser mentality of the Tea Party

Belinda Villela
Belinda Villela

I really don't know how she can sleep at night she will always defy what President Obama requests ~smh~

FRONTERA
FRONTERA

Sí, se puede .......everytime JAN crashes I get horny.....

66rock
66rock topcommenter

Still wondering what part of UNITED States of America, Jan does not get. For some reason, she has chosen to try to one up our President, stick her finger in his face, yet again.  And she will lose, yet again. Did someone tell this women she was elected queen of her own empire or something? Or maybe it is that old saying about repeating the same action same over and over and expecting a different result, like insanity.  I'm counting down now, one year and nine months and she is out of here.  

PissOnJAF
PissOnJAF

They will get their drivers licenses, the court will order it.

So fuck off and die Bobby.

marcy
marcy

Jan's going to lose again, her argument falls completely flat.  

bgray59
bgray59

Frankly, I believe that all residents of Arizona should be issued Drivers Licenses, be required to show proof of insurance and have their voting eligibility/resident status emblazoned across the front of the license. 

robert_graham
robert_graham

What a bunch of baloney this article is.  But the answer is no, Dreamers will not get drivers licenses in Arizona... period!  And the court will agree.  A drivers license is a privilege not a right!!!!!!!

But it's funny how you all cry like fucking babies by using the piss poor excuse that being denied licenses will inconvenience you and prevent your sorry asses from being able to go to work, school and to the grocery store.  But poor babies, the truth is there are lots of American citizens who don't have drivers licenses but they seem to manage to get around just fine.  And you don't hear them crying that they are inconvenienced.... only you do.

Face the fact that when Obama gave Dreamers work permits it did not include a drivers license or even a path to citizenship.  Therefore Dreamers are still illegal aliens.  And illegal aliens in Arizona may not get drivers licenses. 

david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

@yourproductsucks i disagree. The GOP is getting more and more on board with lightening up on immigration because the political landscape is building against them. They need minority support to sustain any chance in future national elections. TX alone is expected to lean Dem in the next 4 to 12 years...the GOP knows this. If they lose TX, along with CA and NY automatically in Presidential elections, they dont stand much of a chance. I say give them licenses, much like the pro gun argument they are just going to drive regardless..might as well make it so they can get insurance instead of driving around without it right? 

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@yourproductsucks The issue is disparate treatment.  If other aliens who have been granted deferred action are able to obtain driver's license, than she is treating these similarly situated aliens differently, which is problematic.  Issuing a drivers license doesn't extend the deferred action nor does it create an right to remain legally or illegally in the U.S. nor does it create any state sanntion of their immigration status.  The government has an obligation to treat similarly situated individuals similarly and to not do so opens the door wide open to government discrimination. 

marcy
marcy

@yourproductsucks 

The feds already offer deferred deportation in other instances and the State of Arizona offers drivers licenses to those people.  Giving them drivers licenses does not create new problems, immigration is a federal issue and not Arizona's to deal with.



marcy
marcy

@valleynative 

So Jan Brewer denies driver's licenses to everyone who breaks the law?  

No?  Then that isn't the reason she is denying driver's licenses to this group of people who have NOT been found guilty or even charged with a crime.

Try again.  

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@valleynative The people hat she is denying DLs are NO LONGER ILLEGAL, as proved by the fact they have a federal work permit.  But they are Hispanic, and that seems to be enough for Gin Soaked Jan.

valleynative
valleynative

@66rock While I don't support much of what Brewer does, I'm afraid that she understands better than you do what the "United States" means.  The President is not her boss, and the States are not bound by federal policy except in those areas specifically outlined in the Constitution.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

@bgray59 Right. And it would be OK for it to be displayed prominently on the card that holder is either a U.S. citizen or a resident alien. The Dreamers may not fully have the status of resident alien (Green Card holder) but they are definitely residing here.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@bgray59 That was the "Real ID" stuff that was rejected by the AZ Legislature a few years back.  The GOP didn't want it!

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

@JoeArpaioFan FLASH..... FLASH.... FLASH...

Feenix, Ariz 5/1/2013 11:30a EDT...

A federal judge has ruled that so-called "Dreamers"... mostly young adult hispanics who were brought to Arizona by their parents when they were babies... may now apply for an Arizona Driver License. Gov. "GED Jan" Brewer issued an executive order prohibiting the Arizona DMV from issuing DLs to these individuals. There are approximately 60,000 such "Dreamers" in the state.

In another stunning development, a poster on Phoenix New Times, an alternative weekly, known by many as "JoeArpaioFan" or "Jaffie" for short was found unresponsive outside his home. The county coroner stated that it appears that Jaffie's head exploded when he heard the news.

MORE... MORE... MORE...

NNNN

cassityg32
cassityg32

@JoeArpaioFan oh crap. Your back?!

david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

@JoeArpaioFan it case you havent noticed, the judge is going to base his decision on the law, and not race like you do. Therefor, you likely lose. 

By the way, whats funny is you using words you dont know the fucking meaning of and making a complete ass of yourself. Whats funny is that you talk shit but back down when someone calls you out. Whats funny is none of your bullshit rants ever make sense, but theyre so delusional its fucking hilarious! And whats really funny in the grand scheme of it all, is that you think we give two shits what your pathetic, coward ass thinks. 

marcy
marcy

@JoeArpaioFan 

While a driver's license is indeed a right, the State of Arizona admits that it already issues driver's license to illegal aliens and it just doesn't want to give driver's licenses to this particular class of deferred action aliens.

Read that again, you're claim that "illegal aliens in Arizona may not get drivers licenses" is simply false, and the State of Arizona was forced to admit as much in court.



WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@JoeArpaioFan Have you ever bothered to look at the AZ requirements for a DL?  A federal work permit is one of the valid  forms of ID.  AZ has already issued DLs to over 30,000 people on deferred actions, with a work permit.


Now go back and play with your Barbie dolls, Robert.

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@david_saint01 ...as long as the license expires at the end of the deferment I have no problem giving them the privilege to drive.  Right now, possession of a license is prima facie that a person is legal.

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@JohnQ.Public possession of a valid Arizona Driver's Licence is prima facie evidence the person is here legally.  There in lies the problem.  If the licenses are extended beyond the moritorium (which is possible) it would create, rather than solve, problems.

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@marcy State law requires a person be in the State legally in order to obtain a license.  Obama's executive order did nothing to change their status, which is clearly written in the order.  Numerous people on this blog were arguing that Brewers executive order was redundant since there were already laws in place denying the giving of driver's licenses in this scenario.

marcy
marcy

@valleynative @66rock 

The US Constitution gives the federal government complete authority over immigration, not the State of Arizona.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

@valleynative @66rock It's been 224 years since the U.S. Constitution was written. Responsibilities of the U.S. Government has expanded greatly since that time, by amendment to the Constitution or by acts of Congress AND Executive Orders such as DACA. No, the president is not Jan's boss but he sure does outrank her.

66rock
66rock topcommenter

@valleynative @66rock  Where did I say "her boss"?  I did not.  And no, there is nothing at all that Jan Brewer "understands better" than myself and most other people on the planet.

bgray59
bgray59

@WhoKnows @bgray59 Hey that must mean that I'm not the paid GOP troll that many of the posters consider me to be.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@marcy @JoeArpaioFan Actually Marcy, "deferred action" means that they are here LEGALLY for a period of time.  That's why the feds made the call on DLs for "dreamers" that was followed by ALL states except Nebraska and AZ.

marcy
marcy

@yourproductsucks @marcy 

The State of Arizona admitted in court that they give licenses to other persons who are in this country under deferred deportation agreements.

Once someone has an agreement with the federal government that they will not be deported and can work they are not in this country illegally.  They are now in the country with the permission of the federal government until the deferred deportation agreement ends.


marcy
marcy

@yourproductsucks @marcy 

The feds in the form of the federal courts will order the State of Arizona to stop violating the US Constitution and  stop denying people the right to apply for a drivers license on the basis that they have received permission to remain in this country under the deferred deportation agreement.


JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@valleynative No, she shouldn't scold him when he's acting like a jerk - at least not by wagging a finger in his face on the tarmac when he's deplaning from Air Force One.  There is a certain decorum that is expected and appropriate which apparently she either doesn't know, doesn't understand or doesn't care to follow.  Regardless of what she thought of his comment about her book, she had an obligation on behalf of her constituents and the state that she represents to maintain appropriate decorum. 

66rock
66rock topcommenter

@valleynative @66rock   Well. we all are entitled to our opinion of course.  You fail to mention How he was "acting like a jerk",  But most importantly, It is not her role to "scold" anyone, least of all the POTUS. 

valleynative
valleynative

@66rock Sorry, I misspoke.  Brewer probably doesn't understand much about the relationship between the State and federal governments, but her advisers do.  You didn't say that Obama was her boss, but you certainly implied that she shouldn't scold him when he's acting like a jerk.

marcy
marcy

@WhoKnows @marcy @JoeArpaioFan 

I'm just using Bobby's language.  He is mistaken when he claims that other "illegal aliens", ie people who have also received deferred action from the Feds and a work permit, aren't getting Arizona driver's licenses.


They are and the State of Arizona was embarrassed to admit that they are doing so despite claiming they weren't.  There is ZERO difference between the Dreamer's status and the status of other "illegal aliens" that the State of Arizona is knowingly giving driver's licenses to.


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