Federal Judge: Illegal Immigrants Can Keep Licenses

Illegal immigrants can keep their drivers licenses, a federal judge has ruled, the New York Times reported yesterday.

Federal Judge David G. Campbell struck down an executive order from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer that prohibited illegal immigrants from having drivers licenses. In striking down that order, Judge Campbell ruled that illegal immigrants — often callers “DREAMers” — can keep their drivers licenses.

“In the ruling, Judge Campbell cited examples of penalized immigrants, including one man unable to pursue a career as a firefighter because the local department required a license, and a graphic designer whose days were consumed by commuting by public transportation to meet clients,” the Times reported.

By ruling that illegal immigrants can keep their drivers licenses, state officials in Arizona are concerned that illegal immigrants might be able to obtain government benefits that they are not eligible to receive.

The ruling comes one month after illegal immigrants began receiver drivers licenses, Fox News Latino reported. Illegal immigrants affected by this ruling, who are protected from deportation, can now keep their drivers licenses.

“Arizona was one of the last states where officials refused to issue driver’s licenses to young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children but allowed to remain under a 2012 Obama administration program,” Fox News Latino reported.

“This means they can keep their licenses,” said Araceli Martinez-Olguin, a senior attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants’ Rights Project.

Attorneys for the state of Arizona argued that allowing illegal immigrants to keep their licenses should not have been permitted since the drivers licenses were granted under a federal immigration policy that was not authorized by Congress.

“As a result, (illegal immigrants who now can keep licenses) are not eligible to apply for driver’s licenses under state law, which requires that applicants prove they have a legal presence,” the Arizona Republic reported.

Judge Campbell ruled that illegal immigrants had the same rights to drivers licenses as other non-citizens in the state of Arizona.

California began giving drivers licenses to illegal immigrants earlier this month, the Inquisitr reported. Thousands of illegal immigrants, who can keep their drivers licenses as a result of the federal court ruling, have been granted those licenses this year in California.

[Image from www.azcentral.com]