Dreamers can't drive: New rules exclude more drivers - New York News

Dreamers can't drive: New rules exclude more drivers

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PHOENIX -

Dreamers can't drive.

That's what Gov. Jan Brewer says in new Arizona Department of Transportation rules announced while a federal discrimination lawsuit is moving forward in federal court.

We're talking about people with "deferred action" immigration status -- granted by the Obama administration.  It lets undocumented people including those who came to the U.S. as children -- "dreamers" -- to stay in the country and get jobs without fear of deportation.

The governor doesn't want them to have driver's licenses.

In the midst of a federal court battle comes a change in the regulations.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups filed suit in federal court claiming dreamers were being singled out -- denied driver's licenses while other people on deferred status, people fleeing persecution, women fleeing abusive husbands -- could still get a license to drive.

So the new policy now excludes these people too while continuing the ban on dreamers.

"Her actions are insane and don't align with Arizona's or Americans' views.  Instead of admitting she is wrong, she is has decided to expand the license ban and her discriminatory practices,"said Dulce Matuz of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition.

So what does the governor have to say about all of this?  We went to the State Capitol to try to get her side of the story.

We received a statement from Andrew Wilder, her spokesperson:

"She is not in today and frankly, it's an ADOT policy change.  You should consider speaking to them to explain the change and details."

So we asked ADOT and they merely sent us a copy of the new legal provisions.

We asked why is it that people with deferred action status who used to be able to get driver's licenses can't get them now.  Why the change?

An ADOT spokesperson said he couldn't answer that one because there's a lawsuit going on in court.

In California and other states, the emphasis is on letting dreamers drive on the grounds having licensed drivers makes the roads safer.  But in Arizona, the policy is to keep those people off the road.

The ACLU says the lawsuit will continue in federal court.

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