Arizona Gov. Brewer Issues Executive Order Denying Illegal Immigrants Benefits
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday issued an executive order instructing state agencies to deny benefits to illegal immigrants who get temporary work permits -- or amnesty -- under President Barack Obama’s executive action on illegal immigration.
Wednesday was the first day young illegal immigrants could apply for amnesty and thousands lined up to do so across the country. Brewer’s order instructs state agencies to deny driver's licenses and other public benefits to those who get work permits under Obama's executive order.
According to a local ABC affiliate, Brewer said she was “was reaffirming the intent of current Arizona law denying taxpayer-funded public benefits and state identification to illegal immigrants” and when Obama announced his immigration order in June, Brewer labelled the policy “backdoor amnesty.”
Brewer's order says the Obama’s policy will does not confer “legal status on illegal immigrants and won’t entitle them to Arizona public benefits” but Obama’s order “"could result in some unlawfully present aliens inappropriately gaining access to public benefits contrary to the intent of Arizona voters and lawmakers who enacted laws expressly restricting access to taxpayer funded benefits and state identification."
Democrats and the American Civil Liberties Union have said Brewer’s actions are mean-spirited. One local Democratic leader called Brewer’s actions a “gubernatorial temper tantrum.” And those supporting the DREAM Act took to the streets to protest Brewer’s actions on Wednesday.
Arizona has been at the forefront of the immigration debate. Its SB1070 law was partly overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court but the provision that allowed police officers to ask those they reasonably suspect of being in the country illegally for documentation after they are detained for another violation was upheld.
As ABC notes, in the past decade, Arizona voters have approved laws denying illegal immigrants public benefits and in-state tuition.
Look for the Democrats and the mainstream media to nationalize Brewer's executive order to further motivate Hispanics to vote for Obama at the polls.