Arizona driver's license battle heads to court - New York News

Arizona driver's license battle heads to court

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PHOENIX -

A federal judge in Phoenix is deciding a case that focuses on whether the federal government or state officials get to decide who is legally in the country.
 
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer issued an order denying driver's licenses for young immigrants who have received work permits under a new Obama administration policy. U.S. District Judge David Campbell heard arguments Friday in a lawsuit seeking to block Brewer's action.
 
Immigrant groups say Brewer's policy is unconstitutional because Arizona allows other immigrants with work permits to get driver's licenses.
 
Brewer's lawyers claim President Barack Obama's policy isn't federal law -- immigrants granted deferred action do not have legal status.

"We're not just talking about getting a license.  A driver's license that lets you move freely about the state, take care of your families, go to work, put your talents at use.  We're talking about the right to be treated like everyone else," said Karen Tumlin, a lawyer for the National Immigration Law Center.

The lawsuit represents the first major legal battle over Obama's policy, which allows young immigrants who came to the U.S. before they turned 16 to stay in the U.S. under certain conditions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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