“Just as dreamers in Arizona eagerly began applying for the Obama administration’s deferred action program, Gov. Jan Brewer signed an executive order Wednesday directing state agencies to deny them driver’s licenses and state-issued identification cards granted to them under the program.
Those who apply for deferred action and are accepted will still be granted work authorization and will still be protected from deportation.
News about the governor’s executive order spread quickly among dreamers in Arizona. Dozens of them, appalled by the news, marched to the state capitol to protest Brewer’s order.”
Before you jump the gun, the move’s completely kosher in the eyes of the law.
“She’s the executive of the state and she controls all the state agencies,” says Arizona attorney Jose Peñalosa, “so she does have the power to do this.”
Whether the counterattack is legal or not is frankly beside the point. The governor’s move proves conservatives are officially at war with the Obama administration. We’re way past the Fort Sumter moment.
Much of the Republican Party seems to be playing from Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” playbook — which isn’t actually his to begin with. New natitivists look to make the United States so uninhabitable for all undocumented immigrants that the undocumented will opt to live in a south-of-the-border city like Juarez — Juarez, for the people who thought Chicago wasn’t violent enough.
Peñalosa thinks the president should sidestep the entire issue by rewording his memorandum to grant legal status to those eligible for deferred action, but it’s not clear Obama can do that without blatantly ignoring Congressional rejection of the DREAM Act.
Democrats, progressives and everyone else who supports immigrant rights should take Governor Brewer’s move as further confirmation that the nativist conservatives in this country don’t deem it necessary to grant an ounce of humanity to the undocumented. Such individuals are filthy, dangerous lawbreakers in the eyes of people like Brewer, and though progressives tend to view things much differently — recognizing that there are varying factors which lead to an immigrant’s unlawful presence — the two sides will simply have to agree to be at war.