A federal appeals court ruled Monday that young adult illegal immigrants whom President Obama has given tentative permission to be in the country — so-called “dreamers” — are also entitled to driver’s licenses and ordered Arizona to issue them.
The ruling comes while the government is debating policy about a new wave of illegal immigrant children who are surging across the border in Texas, overwhelming federal authorities’ ability to handle them.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer blasted the court’s ruling, saying it could end up meaning her state would have to grant driver’s licenses to some of those in the latest wave of illegal immigrants if Mr. Obama finds ways to avoid deporting them too.
But immigrant-rights advocates hailed the decision, saying it is a major step in helping the Dreamers, who were brought to the U.S. as minors by their parents, move toward some sort of normal life in the U.S.
“This is a huge victory for the young immigrants who want nothing more than to make meaningful contributions to communities in their home state of Arizona,” said Alessandra Soler, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona.