Jan Brewer's Bigoted Policy Denying Driver's Licenses to DREAMers in Federal Judge's Hands
The lawyer foundered when he asserted that DACA recipients had, as of the moment, "no hope of lawful status," though he conceded that he was not an "immigration expert."
Campbell then observed that the defense's own charts created as evidence indicated that since 2005, 505 persons with no lawful status and no hope of lawful status had received driver's licenses while the federal government "deferred action" on their cases, sometimes for humanitarian reasons, or the person was a witness to a crime and needed by the prosecution, or because their home country would not accept them.
Northup was caught with his pants down.
"This is our chart, and I understand that," he said, apologetically.
Northup said the notation was "an error on our part." But he could not refute the judge's contention that, based on the evidence, there are people in Arizona who have the same status as DACA-recipients, and, yet, are able to obtain a driver's license.
The attorney also denied there was "irreparable harm" caused by the inability to get a driver's license, even though it may force some people to drive when they shouldn't.
"Fear is not irreparable harm," he told the judge of the apprehension people may feel not having a driver's license.
On rebuttal, Tumlin pointed out courts have conceded that the ability to drive is linked to the ability to work, and thus, survive. And a driver's license or non-driving photo I.D. from the state practically was needed for everyday existence.
She noted the example of one DACA recipient who could not even return items to a store because the clerk demanded to see an Arizona I.D.
Campbell ended the hearing, taking the matter under advisement, and promising a ruling "in the next few weeks."
Outside the courthouse, the DREAMers held a spirited demonstration, greeting the attorneys with boisterous applause as they walked to a lectern for the post-court press conference.
Matuz stated that there were "approximately 16,000 DACA applications that have been received from the state of Arizona," but even when applicants are approved, and are given a Social Security Number and authorization to work, they are often "wrongly scrutinized" during the job interview process for lack of a state I.D.
"Governor Brewer wants the federal district court to dismiss the case," she said. "She wants to dismiss our dignity. She wants to dismiss our dreams."
Her fellow DREAMer Jesus Castro offered a note of defiance.
"Today I'm standing up for my rights," he said. "I'm standing up as an Arizonan, and I can say legitimately that [Arizona] is my home state, and I'm not leaving here."
Brewer's executive order will have a price to pay for the Republican Party in this state. Castro and Matuz are future leaders of Arizona, and Brewer's action cannot help but poison them against the Arizona Republican Party, which has yet to get the message that the national GOP has gotten regarding immigration and the 12 million undocumented in this country.
That is, like Matuz and Castro, they are not leaving. And it's high time the bigots in the state GOP get over it.