Nationally, about 800,000 people are eligible, if they meet the rigorous requirements and pay the $465 application fee. If they're denied, even if the reason is a paperwork mistake, there's no path to appeal. Applicants must be between the age of 16 and 30, serve in the military, attend college, or hold down a steady job. In Arizona about 11,000 have already applied.
When President Obama first signed the order this past June, some people were reluctant to enroll, fearing that Mitt Romney might win, the policy would be reversed, and they'd be left dangling, their undocumented status known to authorities. But with President Obama's convincing win the deferred action program is safe, since even Republicans are talking about reforming immigration policy in the wake of their shellacking by Hispanics at the polls, and more young immigrants are lining up to take advantage of the program.
Not so fast there, bippy, says Gov. Brewer, who, when the policy was first announced, called it "backdoor amnesty." Now, "backdoor" and "Jan Brewer" is an image I'm trying to scrub from my noggin, but this is pure Brewer: flip off the president, just like she did this week by rejecting the ACA's state-run healthcare exchange. Gov. Brewer also declared that deferred Dreamers are not eligible for any State benefits:
Brewer's order blocks the immigrants who are granted deferred action from obtaining driver's licenses or any other "taxpayer-funded public benefits." New TimesAs expected, yesterday the ACLU and other human rights groups filed suit against the governor, claiming that her order is unconstitutional and simply petty.
On the one hand, the president's new program stipulates that young Dreamers must attend school or hold a job, but Jan Brewer won't allow them a drivers license. She says, of course, they can take the bus. Hey, I use the bus and light rail in Phoenix because I can. However, there are countless places the mass transit system does not serve in one of the nation's largest, sprawling cities. And what are immigrants who live in rural communities, where there are no buses, supposed to do? Hitchhike? Her order would also bar college students from any State support—grants, fellowships, scholarships. Yeah, that's helpful, make education even more expensive for families struggling to enter the middle class.
Beyond that, Brewer's order is nonsensical, even unconstitutional, says the lawsuit because, until now, immigrants who were not US citizens but were here in some authorized capacity could receive Arizona drivers licenses and benefit from other State aid. Brewer is simply singling out Obama's new Dreamers, refusing to acknowledge their "legal" status, once again flashing her bony, mean-spirited, bigoted finger in the president's face.
"They are here illegally and unlawfully in the state of Arizona and it's already been determined that you're not allowed to have a driver's license if you are here illegally," Brewer said in a press conference. "The Obama amnesty plan doesn't make them legally here." FOX LatinoBut that's the thing: Obama's policy does "make them here legally." If Brewer's history in the courts, where she's spent most of her second term, is any indication, she's about to lose this fight too. The Arizona Supreme Court slapped down her redistricting lawsuit, and of course the US Supreme Court threw out most of her signature policy, SB 1070, and the one remaining provision is sure to be challenged, as soon as one of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's goons detains or arrests the wrong person.
Once again, Arizona leads the GOP's outreach to Latino voters. Heck, Brewer's been on the losing end of so many battles this term, except for one: