The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Breaking News

July 7, 2014

Arizona loses immigration driver's license dispute

PHOENIX — A federal appeals court has dealt a new blow to Arizona in its series of immigration-related crackdowns, ruling that the state cannot deny driver's licenses to young immigrants who are allowed to stay in the U.S. under a 2012 Obama administration policy.

Arizona was one of two states that refused to issue licenses to the immigrants, sparking the latest court fight over the issue.

Republican Gov. Jan Brewer called the ruling misguided and said she was considering appeal.

The decision follows other high-profile battles between Arizona and the federal government over immigration, including court decisions that struck down much of a 2010 enforcement law but upheld its most hotly debated section, which requires police to check immigration status under certain circumstances.

"We hope that this ruling signals the end of what has been an unfortunate anti-immigrant period in Arizona," said Karen Tumlin, one of the attorneys representing the immigrants.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found there was no legitimate state interest in treating young immigrants granted deferred action on deportation differently from other noncitizens who could apply for driver's licenses. Instead, the panel suggested the policy was intended to express hostility toward the young immigrants, in part because of the federal government's policy toward them.

The decision should remove any barriers young immigrants face in getting a driver's license in Arizona, Tumlin said.

The ruling comes during a national focus on the topic as tens of thousands of immigrants from Central America — many unaccompanied children — have illegally entered the country in recent months, straining the capacity of detention centers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Obama administration in June 2012 took administrative steps to shield thousands of immigrants from deportation and expand their legal rights. The move assists immigrants younger than 30 who came to the U.S. before turning 16, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, are enrolled in or have graduated from a high school or GED program or have served in the military. Aside allowing driver's licenses, applicants also were allowed to pursue a two-year renewable work permit.

About 520,000 people have been approved to take part in the program, including about 19,000 in Arizona.

Reyna Montoya, a 23-year-old Mesa, Arizona, resident who took part in the Obama program said she feels her inability to get a driver's license has put her at a competitive disadvantage as she searches for a teaching job. Without a license, Montoya said she is unable to drive students to extracurricular activities — a question that's raised on job applications.

Montoya regards Monday's court decision as a victory for young immigrants but noted that they still face barriers in Arizona, including a 2006 voter-approved law that denies cheaper in-state tuition and financial assistance at public universities and community colleges to immigrants who are in the country illegally.

"We are celebrating now, but we are going to have to continue to organize," Montoya said.

Brewer issued an executive order in August 2012 directing state agencies to deny driver's licenses and other public benefits to young immigrants who get work authorization under the deferred action program.

She pointed out Monday that the judges who ruled against her were appointed by Democratic presidents. She blames Obama's policy for the recent influx of immigrants entering the country illegally and notes that the program isn't federal law. "Lawless decrees by the president demonstrate animus to Congress, states and the Constitution," Brewer said.

The appeals panel ordered a lower court judge to issue a preliminary injunction blocking Brewer's executive order while the case is litigated. It's unknown how long it will take for the case to conclude.

Brewer's attorneys said the decision to deny driver's licenses grew out of liability concerns and the desire to reduce the risk of the licenses being used to improperly access public benefits.

Brewer's refusal marked the nation's most visible challenge to the Obama policy on young immigrants.

Nebraska is the only other state to have made similar denials, and a federal judge this year dismissed a lawsuit contesting the state's policy.

 

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • NWS - HB0706 - scooter - 04 Police say new mo-ped law hard to enforce KOKOMO — With more and more mo-peds hitting the streets, police are having a hard time enforcing new restrictions encompassed in the new scooter law.Mo-ped drivers can still cruise the streets and roads on their two-wheel machines, but the new state

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Venue change granted for blast suspect A judge granted a change of venue Wednesday for the trial of one defendant in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion after prosecutors dropped their objection.

    July 31, 2014

  • Boyfriend of missing Shelbyville woman arrested Authorities searching for a missing central Indiana woman have discovered what they believe to be human remains and have arrested the woman's boyfriend.

    July 30, 2014

  • Pence pushes Medicaid alternative with HHS chief Gov. Mike Pence has told U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell that he wants to maintain Indiana's "freedom and flexibility" under any expansion of Medicaid.

    July 30, 2014

  • Indianapolis mayor backs tax to hire more officers

    Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is seeking a tax increase to pay for hiring more police officers as part of a wide-ranging response to the city's recent surge in deadly violence.

    July 30, 2014

  • Colts Camp update: Will injured players return?

    Cornerback Vontae Davis and safety LaRon Landry have yet to participate in a training camp practice, and running back Trent Richardson has missed four straight after running through drills on opening day. Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano doesn't want to rush any of those players back onto the field. But he made it clear Wednesday morning at Anderson University that he hopes to see them back soon.

    July 30, 2014

  • Ticket me Elmo? NYC mulls law for impersonators

     New York City officials are turning up the heat on Elmo, Cookie Monster and Statue of Liberty impersonators — Times Square costumed characters who often demand money for posing in photos with tourists.

    July 30, 2014

  • US economy grew at strong 4 percent rate in spring

    After a dismal winter, the U.S. economy sprang back to life in the April-June quarter, growing at a fast 4 percent annual rate on the strength of higher consumer and business spending.

    July 30, 2014

  • Pence wants immigrant children taken out of state

    Gov. Mike Pence is asking that more than 200 immigrant children placed in Indiana be deported and chiding President Barack Obama for not alerting him of the placements.

    July 30, 2014

  • Broken water main floods UCLA; 5 people rescued

    A broken water main near the UCLA campus Tuesday sent a geyser of water some 30 feet into the air, trapping people in underground parking garages and covering some of the best-known parts of campus in water, including the school's famed basketball arena.

    July 30, 2014

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Do you think school is starting too early?

Yes, it shouldn't start until after Labor Day.
Yes, it shouldn't start for another week or so.
No, it's about right.
Not sure.
     View Results