Arizona Dreamers Can Apply for Driver’s Licenses Monday
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Dec 19, 2014 in Auto Accidents
Young Arizonan immigrants who qualify for the 2012 DREAM act will be able to apply for state drivers licenses starting Monday, according to a preliminary injunction issued by a federal judge this week.
The DREAM Act, signed in 2012 by President Obama, granted temporary reprieves to young immigrants who entered the country illegally as children and who meet certain conditions. The people who qualify for this program, called dreamers, are allowed to apply for a two-year renewable grant of deferred action, if:
- They entered the United States before age 16,
- They are younger than 30 years old,
- They have lived in the U.S. continuously for at least 5 years,
- They are in school, or have graduated from high school, or have served in the military, and
- They have not committed a felony or major misdemeanor.
The executive order allowed dreamers to apply for work permits, receive drivers licenses, and qualify for many state and federal programs. While the DREAM act did not grant full citizenship or any other lawful immigration status, it did give dreamers the ability to work, drive, and apply for citizenship without worrying about deportation.
In Arizona, however, many dreamers have not been able to take full advantage of the act. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has fought to keep dreamers from getting state drivers licenses since August of 2012, when she issued an executive order prohibiting the states Department of Motor Vehicles from granting licenses to dreamers.
This will all change on Monday, thanks to a new ruling issued by U.S. District Court Judge David G. Campbell. On Thursday, Judge Campbell issued a preliminary injunction overriding the governors executive order, requiring the state to stop denying drivers licenses to dreamers.
Gov. Brewers office has vowed to fight the injunction all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary. The governors office believes that deciding which people are entitled to a state drivers license is a state decision, and cannot be made by a federal judge or the President.
Regardless of how the legal fight is resolved, for now, many young people in Arizona will be able to legally drive starting Monday. This could impact the amount of traffic on Arizonas roadways, as there may be an influx of young drivers who could not previously apply for licenses. At the same time, the change in the status of the law may result in more drivers with auto insurance, since a valid drivers license is usually a prerequisite for insurance.
If you or your loved one has been injured in an auto accident in Arizona, California, Utah, or New Mexico, the attorneys at Phillips Law Group will help you receive the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.