On the very day thousands of undocumented youth stood in long lines to apply for a two-year reprieve from deportation, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer denied the state’s undocumented immigrants that qualify for the reprieve, any public benefits.
The executive order signed yesterday will deny eligible undocumented youth the ability to obtain a driver license, state ID cards, or any other public benefits including instate college tuition rates.
Governor Brewer justified her action by noting that President Obama’s ‘Deferred Action’ only allows for qualified undocumented youth to have a two-year reprieve from deportation and possibly a work permit, therefore the state is not mandated to do more for them since they do not have lawful status in the country.
President Obama announced in June that undocumented immigrants under the age of 30 who have been in the country before they turned 16-years old qualified. In addition, applicants had to prove they were a student, college graduate and/or a member of the military without any convictions to qualify.
Experts estimate that close to 1.7 million undocumented will benefit from Obama’s ‘Deferred Action’ and in Arizona some 80,000 will benefit. Applications to the program commenced yesterday across the country and many waited in long lines amongst other hopefuls.
Brewer helped pass one of the country’s toughest anti-immigration laws, SB1070, and is a fierce foe of any pro-immigrant legislation. She is also a fierce critic of Obama’s immigration policies and has called the ‘Deferred Action’ as “backdoor amnesty,” according to the Tucson Citizen.