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PHOENIX -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a last-minute bid by Gov. Jan Brewer to keep thousands of dreamers living in Arizona from getting licenses to drive.
If it’s not solid, it’s not Viagra, Pfizer says. The pill, that is.
With barely a month left in office, Gov. Jan Brewer is making a last-ditch effort to keep driver's licenses out of the hands of dreamers.
Gov. Jan Brewer is asking a federal appeals court to rebuff efforts by the Obama administration to let “dreamers” drive here legally, saying the government is trying to void a valid state law with what amounts to little more than a federal policy.
PHOENIX -- Gov. Jan Brewer is asking a federal appeals court to rebuff efforts by the Obama administration to let "dreamers'' drive here legally, saying the government is trying to void a valid state law with what amounts to little more than a federal policy.
The governor, through her attorneys, is asking judges of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reject claims by the U.S. Department of Justice that Arizona has no legal right to deny licenses to those in the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Brewer is not challenging the right of the administration and the Department of Homeland Security to decide not to try to deport people who arrived in this country illegally as children and even giving them permits to work.
But she said the DACA program was not enacted by Congress and "does not have the force of law.'' And that means it cannot be used to preempt a 1996 Arizona law which says licenses are available only to those who can prove their presence in this country is "authorized under federal law.''
Brewer's filing is a last-ditch effort to get the full court to reconsider -- and overturn -- a decision earlier this year by a three-judge panel which found legal problems with the ban.
The judges ordered the state to start issuing licenses to the dreamers while the case makes its way through the legal system. But that order effectively remains on hold while the full appellate court considers whether to hear Brewer's appeal.
Hanging in the balance is the enforceability of Brewer's 2012 executive order regarding the DACA program. Based on that order, the state Department of Transportation concluded those in the program are not entitled to Arizona licenses.
Brewer argues the 1996 Arizona law allows licenses to be issued only to those "authorized'' to be in this country. More to the point, she contends the decision by the president and the Department of Homeland Security not to deport them does not make their presence "authorized,'' even if they are given work papers.
That argument did not convince the three-judge panel.
Judge Harry Pregerson noted the state has issued licenses to those who granted deferred action under other federal programs. He said that makes Brewer's policy to single out these individuals a violation of the Equal Rights clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Pregerson also said an injunction is appropriate because the policy can cause "irreparable harm'' to those affected. He said their inability to legally drive also makes it more difficult, if not impossible, for them to hold jobs -- a specific right they have in the DACA program.
When Brewer sought review by the full court, the Obama administration weighed in.
"Arizona may not substitute its judgment for the federal government's when it comes to establishing classifications of alien status,'' wrote Assistant Attorney General Lindsey Powell.
She said Arizona has shown no "substantial state purpose'' in crafting rules allowing some not legally in this country to have licenses while other are not. Powell said means Brewer's edict is "preempted by federal law.''
But Brewer, in her latest filing, said there's a flaw in that argument: DACA is only policy.
"The United States ignores the fact that no federal law is at issue here,'' wrote Douglas Northup, lead private attorney hired by Brewer to defend the license ban. Instead, he said, it is "an agency's policy memo, which was issued without notice and comment or subject to any formal rulemaking processes.''
And he said a mere agency policy cannot preempt the Arizona law.
Northup said statements by federal officials back up that contention.
For example, he cited a memo issued by Janet Napolitano when she was the Department of Homeland Security who said that DACA provides no substantive rights, immigration status or a path to citizenship.
"Only Congress, acting through its legislative authority, can confer these rights,'' the memo states. "It remains for the executive branch, however, to set forth policy for the exercise of discretion within that framework,'' Napolitano continued. "I have done so here.''
Northup also is hanging his legal hat on the fact that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says DACA recipients are not "lawfully present'' in this country for purposes of participating in certain federal programs.
"The fact that there may be disagreement among federal government agencies about the import of the DACA memo underscores why one policy memo of one agency cannot preempt state action here,'' he wrote.
Northup acknowledged that the three-judge panel said the ADOT policy could result in DACA recipients being hampered in their legal ability to work.
But he said that was based on the court's assumption that a certain percentage of Arizona workers commute by car. Northup said that makes no sense, as it could mean that the Arizona policy might be legal in some other cities with a higher percentage of workers using mass transit.
Attorneys for dreamers are asking a federal appeals court to make good on its ruling that their clients are entitled to driver's licenses while they challenge Jan Brewer's interpretation of Arizona law.
Calling the state policy motivated by animosity, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday ordered that “dreamers” who the federal government allow to work in this country also be issued Arizona driver's licenses, at least for the time being.
Flooded with a wave of immigrants from Central America, the Obama administration announced Friday it will open new facilities to house families caught crossing the border illegally.
A state senator wants to use the National Guard and local sheriffs to stop buses with undocumented individuals from coming in to Arizona from other states.
Saying the busing is illegal, state Attorney General Tom Horne on Thursday threatened to sue federal officials for dropping off undocumented individuals in Tucson and Phoenix who were apprehended in Texas.
Claiming “systemic abuse” of children who arrive in this country alone, immigrant rights groups on Wednesday this morning the Department of Homeland Security conduct an immediate investigation.
Claiming a pattern of civil rights abuse, the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit Monday to find out exactly how the Border Patrol enforces immigration law far from Mexico.
A Senate panel voted Tuesday to set up a “virtual fence” along the U.S.-Mexico border – but provided absolutely no cash to do that.
Arizona taxpayers may spend $30 million to do little more than find out how good – or bad – a job the federal government does in securing the border.
An Arizona House panel on Monday gave initial approval to a plan to spend $30 million to install 350 miles of "virtual fence" along the state's southern border with Mexico.
Rejecting claims of privilege, a federal judge on Wednesday ordered Gov. Jan Brewer to turn over internal documents and memos leading up to her decision to deny driver's licenses to “dreamers.”
2014 is looking more and more like the Federico Fellini surrealistic “Year of the Absurd” thanks to President Barack Hussein Obama and his “Kafkaesque” Administration.
Everyone has done a list of the Top 10 events of the past year.
State officials are going to grant driver's licenses to some people not in the country legally even as Arizona continues to deny the same privilege to “dreamers.”
For high school students, being a part of a team can really make a difference in kids’ successes, and Hamilton High School’s Anthony Campo is among several who chose to join a team to gain an opportunity.
While Leon does have a point with Obamacare’s navigators, I would think there’s a bigger problem. A website as buggy and incompetent as the Obamacare’s site is has to be wide open to hackers and it has all but advertised that fact. Well crafted, competent websites have security issues — this mess has no even probability of security or safety.
PHOENIX — Federal officials are legally entitled to be negligent in fencing the border without worrying about getting sued over the damages their actions cause, a federal appeals court has ruled.
Considering all the bad news we’ve had in Arizona lately, we are finally getting some good news. Ex-governor Janet Napolitano has resigned her job as President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security and is moving to California to take over the struggling University of California system.
Janet Napolitano has finally used her political connections to land a job for which she's qualified.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who led the burgeoning Department of Homeland Security through a host of policy changes in the post 9/11 era, is resigning to head the University of California system.