Supreme Court Clears Way for AZ DREAMers to Get Driver’s Licenses

Diego Lozano/Arizona DREAM Act Coalition
Diego Lozano/Arizona DREAM Act Coalition
Phoenix, AZ

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court cleared the way for nearly 22,000 DREAMers in Arizona to receive driver’s licenses when it denied Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s request to stay a lower court’s decision that instructed a judge to block Brewer’s driver’s license ban.

Brewer asked the Supreme Court last week for a stay until Arizona formally files its appeal by the February 22 deadline.

According to The Arizona Republic, immediately after the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision, to which Justices Antonin Scalia, Sam Alito, and Clarence Thomas dissented, “the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals instructed U.S. District Judge David Campbell to issue a preliminary injunction blocking Brewer’s driver’s-license ban.”

Campbell can issue the injunction as early as Thursday, but reportedly, he may consult with lawyers on both sides of the issue before going forward.

When Campbell issues the injunction, “the state will be forced to lift the ban and allow more than 22,000 dreamers granted work permits” through President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program “to start applying for driver’s licenses.”

On Wednesday evening, DREAMers “celebrated at the state Capitol, holding giant poster-board cutouts of driver’s licenses and signs in English and Spanish that said, ‘Ready to drive’ and ‘Listos para manejar.'”

Brewer issued an executive order banning driver’s licenses for DACA recipients before the Ninth Circuit ruled that it was likely unconstitutional.

An American Civil Liberties Union lawyer told the Republic that the Supreme Court’s decision was “a big holiday present for the dreamers and a lump of coal for Governor Brewer.”