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Court Supports Arizona DREAMers on Driver's Licenses

Image:Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer speaks at a news conference at the Arizona Capitol on Feb. 26, in Phoenix.
Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer speaks at a news conference at the Arizona Capitol on Feb. 26, in Phoenix. Ross D. Franklin / AP, file

An appeals court struck down Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's policy of denying driver's licenses to young immigrants who had qualified for deferred deportation, and under federal law are eligible to work or study in the state. The ruling Monday comes as a victory for immigrant rights activists who condemned the state's unfair treatment of young immigrants protected under the Obama administration policy.

The governor's attorneys said the driver's license policy was based on concerns over the liability of giving licenses to people who aren't authorized to be in the country and reducing the risk of licenses being used to improperly access public benefits. But the lawsuit against Arizona alleged the state has in effect classified young adult immigrants as not having permission to be in the country, and this is unconstitutional because it's trumped by federal law.

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