Arizona Gov. Defies Obama, Denies Benefits to Undocumented Immigrants

Jan Brewer cited "significant and lasting impacts" on the state budget in denying undocumented immigrants drivers' licenses and other public benefits.

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Ross D. Franklin/AP

Joshua Montano, left, and Francisco Luna protest in front of the Capitol the day after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, in an executive order reaffirming Arizona state law denying young illegal immigrants driver's licenses and other public benefits, Aug. 16, 2012, in Phoenix.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday ordered state agencies to deny driver’s licenses and other taxpayer-funded public benefits to young undocumented immigrants applying for temporary work permits under the new Obama administration policy.

In an executive order, Brewer said President Obama’s deferred action policy does not concede “legal status on illegal immigrants and won’t entitle them to Arizona public benefits.” The order added that an estimated 80,000 deferred action recipients would have “significant and lasting impacts on the Arizona budget, its health care system and additional public benefits that Arizona taxpayers fund.”

Video: Arizona’s ‘Attrition’ Strategy: The Human Cost of Immigration Enforcement

On Wednesday, scores of young undocumented immigrants across country began applying federal work permits under the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The executive order will allow immigrants under age 31 who arrived in the United States before age 16 to apply for a two-year work permit. Eligible applicants must have lived in the country for at least five consecutive years and must a clean criminal record. The permits do not provide lawful status, nor do they create a pathway toward citizenship.

But the federal policy change, according to Brewer, could result in “public benefits contrary to the intent of Arizona voters and lawmakers who enacted laws expressly restricting access to taxpayer funded benefits and state identification.” Brewer ordered state agencies to initiate an emergency rulemaking process, if needed, to carry out her order.

Video: Jan Brewer On Immigration

Immigration advocates pounced on Brewer’s order, calling it a shortsighted decision that further blurs immigration policy while denying the economic potential that undocumented immigrants provide. “Deferred action does not grant access to any sort of public benefit,” Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, tells TIME. “The policy creates a new set of taxpayers for the economy when we sorely need it, but it seems like Governor Brewer wants to keep people who have the potential of starting small businesses in Arizona from doing so.”

Arizona, under Brewer’s leadership, has spearheaded the state-level push to deny benefits to undocumented immigrants. In 2010, the state approved SB 1070, which challenged federal immigration policy by giving local police the power to engage in a range of immigration enforcement actions. The law spurred a flurry of copycat legislation across the country, with five states—Alabama, Utah, Indiana, South Carolina and Georgia—approving similar laws in 2011.

Video: Undocumented Americans: Inside the Immigration Debate

This June, however, the Supreme Court ruled against most of the provisions in the Arizona law. It upheld the “papers please” provision, which requires police to check the immigration status of people they stop. But an injunction from separate legal case is currently blocking the provision from being enacted.

90 comments
DarthWhatever
DarthWhatever

“The policy creates a new set of taxpayers for the economy when we

sorely need it, but it seems like Governor Brewer wants to keep people

who have the potential of starting small businesses in Arizona from

doing so.”How about we get the old set of taxpayers (the unemployed) back to work and empower young American citizens to become small business owners? 

 

zenoman
zenoman

You can't vote in a national election unless you are a citizen, and the deferment wont change that, so relax. This is not a ploy to get more votes, however it will have the desired effect for the president as the Republicans go ballistic and alienate a growing sector of the American population. As far as benefits go, if they are working and contributing taxes they probably legally have the right to receive whatever benefits they qualify for, however temporary. She may be able to deny drivers licenses, as this is a privilege not a right.

As far as illegals in the country, you can't unring the bell. The best way to deal with this is close the borders, get processing stations all down the line to take info from the incoming and register those already here, giving conditional amnesty and extraditing the criminals. If you send them back they will just try again because it is so bad there that anything is better than what they had by comparison. I believe that most of these folks are family-oriented, hard working people just trying to survive. If you force them further underground you will really have a problem as the crime rate soars from the desperation. Better to have them contributing to society and to the tax base than robbing 7-11's for a loaf of bread.

zenoman
zenoman

I understand the frustration about illegals being here, but you cant unring bell. If try to send them back they will just try it again, so the best thing to do is close the border down, put up stations right there to take info for legal processing and just get everyone here registered with conditional amnesty so they can be checked out for criminal activity (which is sort of whats happening now with this new directive from the president). I'm sure most of these people are family-oriented, hard working folks just trying to survive. If you force them underground any further or create even more desperation, then you really will have some problems to deal with as the crime rate skyrockets. Get them working and contributing to the economy and tax base.

Ali999
Ali999

Bull. We tried that in 1986, only amnesty was given BEFORE enforcement.  We got the amnesty but not the enforcement, just as we're doing now.

Moreover, legalization would simply enable them to collect more benefits than they already do, or do you believe that legalization would magically give them the education and skills to get better jobs?  And of course, more illegal aliens would come if these are legalized, since Obama has NOT secured the borders.

zenoman
zenoman

I agree with you about the 1986 law. That's why I said in order for this to work you pretty much have to shut the southern border. They have steadily increased border patrol up to about 18,000 down there. Its going to cost a lot to get that under control, if it ever is secured. I wonder if anyone is willing to pay for that.

Any benefits that are obtained now means they are faking ID and SS numbers and that is already coming under scrutiny. Although it is clearly not right, ,I doubt whether this is as great a drain on supplies as it is thought to be and like I said, it would be better to get them employed and contributing into the system. 

They, like anyone else, would have to try to educate themselves more to get better work and I realize this would take time, but they are probably already working under the table or something and in some menial job nobody wants to do at a wage no one would  do it at ( so they aren't gunning for ayone's job- what a joke) .

This means they are spending that cash, helping the economy and even contributing to the state and federal taxes on goods and services. They are already here, already passively contributing. There has to be a better way than just arresting them and escorting them across the border using more taxpayer money to do so.

Dave Francis
Dave Francis

Nothing—nothing

will ever CHANGE in Congress, if

Americans just keep voting in the same old incumbents of the Democratic or

Republican parties. Change will only come through the intervention of the TEA

PARTY that is gaining momentum through the GOP. Everything will remain ‘Quid

Pro Quo’ (you scratch my back, and then I will scratch yours?) Entrenched

politicians are happy to keep collecting taxpayer’s money and go on trillion

dollar spending spree. It’s no wonder China and other unfriendly countries own

our grand children’s futures?  DREAMER’S

ARE HERE TO STAY, BUT THEY COMPROMISE THEIR PARENTS STATUS? THEY ARE NOT

PROTECTED. 14 million of the population is jobless, given-up or just in

temporary employment and Obama passes a backdoor amnesty.  Everything from another illegal alien amnesty,

more Sanctuary cities, the passage of 

E-Verify; stricter birthright citizenship; energy, bloated government,

taxes, state insolvency, new infrastructure, voter fraud, and many other issues

will be ignored or remain frozen. Want new policies enacted that have been

sitting around for ages, according to the U.S. constitution and the ‘People’s

rights of liberty, then vote stricter TEA PARTY LEADERS INTO WASHINGTON.

Investigate more at tea party dot org, immigration at numbersusa, corruption at

judicialwatch dot org.

Randy L
Randy L

It's great to live in Arizona. Been raining the last month or so, monsoons, our budget is in the black, gas is around $3.45 and illegals don't get squat.

USMC76
USMC76

JAN BREWER FINALLY GETTING ISSUES **RIGHT ** FOR AN OLD HAGG>>WHEN WILL THIS DURT BAG WITCH RELENT

Johan Doh
Johan Doh

We should accecpt, right now, that they can't be deported. But they "have no legal standing" according to DHS. right now that's the "Law".  Now that we have their info, we can find their parents that brought them here, and deport them. Its only fair right?

ninesixteen
ninesixteen

Yes you are correct.  What is really telling is that Obama and his administration have dropped any pretense they had earlier about trying enforce the immigration laws we have on the books.  Where is the worksite enforcement (E-Verify)?  Where is the effort to apply the law against the people who brought the children here and who are most likely illegal themselves?  Why is Obama's uncle, who was caught driving under the influence and working illegally, still working?

The answer is that our  government and elected leaders for the most part don't care about performing their duties and upholding the laws.

Andrew Kamadulski
Andrew Kamadulski

The reason AZ is so wingnut crazy about this is that the demographic bubble is shifting and the Latino vote will own that state within 20-40 years. The old angry xenophobic white people are trying to delay the inevitable. They should be trying to work with them instead of against them. They will remember this when they take control of your state. You will be at their mercy at some point, it would behoove you to treat them with some dignity.

Ali999
Ali999

Andrew, take a look at who runs their home countries.  It's mainly people of EUROPEAN ancestry.

And if illegal aliens want respect, then they should treat US with respect.  It is not "respect" to make your first act here breaking our laws, then your second, third, and fourth.

Viswa Prasad Yadav
Viswa Prasad Yadav

To,

the  Arizona Govt.

Please take care of Immigrants,do not ignore.

ninesixteen
ninesixteen

Just curious,  how many people from around the world do you think the US should take in each and every year?  10 million?  100 million?  At what population level do you think the US would be considered to be overpopulated?  At what level do you think it would be difficult for the US to main its current standard of living?

mjsena
mjsena

Governor Brewer keep up the fight against illegal immigrants.   I think you are doing the right thing.

bertafiable
bertafiable

in reply to all comment to my post.......

LOL

HelpSaveMaryland
HelpSaveMaryland

Thank God someone in this country follows the rule of law.  We need to ramp up immigration enforcement bigtime in the new Romney/Ryan Administration come 2013.  It will be easy now that we have illegal alien registration forms stored at the Department of Homeland Security.

Betty Eyer
Betty Eyer

If they are applying for legal work permits and driver's licences, wouldn't that make them LEGAL immigrants? So what Brewer is saying is that she is opposed to all these brown people gaining legal status.  But, yeah, it's not RACIAL or anything.  

Ali999
Ali999

No.  They are still illegal aliens, still deportable, and still have no path to permanent legal status.  In fact, they only have work permits, which USCIS even gives to illegal aliens in deportation proceedings while they await their hearings.  One such illegal alien drove drunk on a suspended license in VA, killed a nun, and now the state no longer recognizes the work permits alone as showing "legal presence".

ninesixteen
ninesixteen

No, you are wrong.  Brewer is following the letter of Arizona law and the will of the voters of Arizona.  UCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas himself established that "Deferred Action does not confer lawful status."

Arizona law only permits people in lawful status to obtain Arizona drivers licenses.  So if she allowed DACA applicants to get drivers licenses she would be violating Arizona law.  For once, an official that wants to follow laws.  How refreshing.

Imma Commenter
Imma Commenter

An executive order is not a violation of the Constitution. You must not be American or you'd know that. 

Oh wait....

Ali999
Ali999

Nor is the governor's executive order a violation of anything.

Imma Commenter
Imma Commenter

You're full of it. At least immigrants are thankful to have a minimum wage job. Americans get a min wage gig amp; work it until it conflicts with something in their personal schedule, like that day at the beach with friends. Then they simply don't show up, or quit, and eventually move on to another min wage gig, lather, rinse, repeat.

Ali999
Ali999

Funny how many supporters of illegal aliens seem to feel they have to justify their support by disparaging Americans and making untrue generalizations about the virtues of illegal aliens.  If illegal aliens are such wonderful workers, how come they can't find jobs in their own countries?

ninesixteen
ninesixteen

And you personally know this and have met all US Citizens?

Imma Commenter
Imma Commenter

Maybe if her state did a better job keeping the illegals out she wouldn't have this problem?

Ali999
Ali999

Maybe if the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT did a better job keeping illegal aliens out, she wouldn't have this problem?  After all, Obama himself has said that immigration law is the sole purview of the FEDERAL government.

Audrey Hulm
Audrey Hulm

All of the people commenting negatively on this article, you seem to have a limited ability to read or understand basic logic. 

1.His bill does not make them the people he is discussing 'legal'- it is a two year concession, meaning they can legally work but they are not citizens. Since what you right wingers mainly bleat on about is 'work,' h is giving them an opportunity to work legally and fairly.

2. It is for people who came to America as CHILDREN. As in, uh, those little human beings who get moved around yet have no choice in where they stay or go. 

These people didn't have a choice to come to America, and to think they would have shows incredible naivety.

Obama has offered those who came here not by choice, but technically, by force of their parents, to get out of crippling poverty, work legally and have a rest from fear, for two measly years. TWO YEARS. Not the rest of their LIVES (as he should). 

Put yourself in the position of one of those who either is or was a child under these conditions, and I think you will see the fairness of this offer.

Arizona, stop being so damned backwards and hiding your racist agendas under the easy banner of tax payer dollars

ninesixteen
ninesixteen

Audrey, if as you say this is simply just a two-year respite, why all the statements by Obama and others in the news that this is just a first step towards a broad legalization program?

John Paterson
John Paterson

Obama didn't sign a bill that's the biggest problem.

Yvette Rhea
Yvette Rhea

 Stop making  sense Audrey. :)  This is a way for hardworking children of undocumented workers to live and work here legally.  Remember all those racists who said that they didn't hate Mexicans, they just felt they should be here the legal way?  Yeah, no big surprise that they are flip flopping on that now.  We all know Brewers agenda.  And that is to eliminate as many brown people as possible to curb breeding brown Americans and making the white population smaller.  We all know this.  And this scares the heck out of bigots.

Ali999
Ali999

Yvetter, it's also the only way that they'll ever be able to do so as long as Obama refuses to deport the PARENTS who brought them here illegally.

And we know YOUR agenda:  to have as many "brown" people populate this country as possible, even when they're here illegally.  Especially when they're here illegally.  As a "brown" person of Arab descent, I find your racism appalling--and oh so, blatant.

Heterotic
Heterotic

Dumbo, he has no "bill" as it is  Congress that passes "bills" into law and he has bypassed Congress. Try to learn something before criticizing others you dummy.

northofthere
northofthere

God Bless Jan Brewer, about time someone stood up to that incompetent boob in the whitehouse!

Cathy DuPont
Cathy DuPont

I think the President should sent in the National Guard to uphold the order.  It was done in Alabama in the 60's when Wallace would not integrate the schools.  Why not now? 

Gov. Brewer is defying the law, period.  She's running the state like it's her own nation doing whatever she pleases.

Heterotic
Heterotic

 Get a clue, she is not defying any law. Further, Bama is bypassing Congress and defying the will of the American people while fulfilling the will of mexicans.

Yvette Rhea
Yvette Rhea

 American citizens have been saying that they only care that they are here legally.  Flip flopper.

Ali999
Ali999

Yvette, they're not here "legally".  They're still illegal aliens, still deportable, and still have no route to legal permanent status.  You see, Obama doesn't have the authority to make them LEGAL IMMIGRANTS.  He can only let them remain here as illegal aliens with authorization to work.  His policy does NOT change their status.

COfoEVA
COfoEVA

Jan  Brewer is a disgrace .  Why doesn't she pass a budget or deal with all the other crisis happening in her state?  Her and her drunk racist bull dog sheriff spend all the time "fighting" illegal immigration and have left their state to rot in a depression much worse than the rest of the country.  people in Arizona should be outraged by her complete incompetency as governor.

That's why I moved away from that backwards cesspool of hate.

Heterotic
Heterotic

Every state with all of those illiterate mexicans is going broke. They have screwed up and bankrupted California, they are useless.

swift2010
swift2010

if someone is illegal how can you give them a drivers licence 

COfoEVA
COfoEVA

 Because they are not illegal anymore with a work permit... pull your head out

Ali999
Ali999

Yes, they are STILL illegal aliens.  Still deportable.  And with no route to legal status that they didn't have before.  If Obama wanted to change this policy tomorrow and withdraw the work permits, he could do it, and have them deported.

COfoEVA
COfoEVA

No they are immigrants with a temporary 2 year work permit, making them legal.  They are not citizens though.  Obama could repeal the executive order but they would still be able to stay out the remainder of their two year work permit.  I don't know where you people hear this garbage but the POINT is to for them to no longer be deportable so we stop wasting our tax dollars on a futile effort.

ninesixteen
ninesixteen

No,  Alejandro Mayorkas (UCIS director) has clarified that "Deferred Action does not confer lawful status."  So they are still ilegally present in the US.  You are wrong.

Heterotic
Heterotic

Good for her. It is time for the US government to actually work for US citizens rather than for foreign lawbreakers, a concept Bama and Holder are too dumb to understand.

lokiii
lokiii

The current situation is simple people.  Half of all Americans don't pay a dime in taxes.  The half of us that do don't like carrying deadbeats, 3rd generation welfare queens, and illegal aliens who don't pay a dime in taxes.  We want the taxes to be spent on citizens who truly need and deserve it.  We also don't care when illegals get politically active since they are here illegally and have no right telling legal citizens how things should work.  Now am I for immigration reform, you bet, the system is way too convoluted right now and doesn't work. 

Paul Balbas
Paul Balbas

 NO half of Americans dont pay Fed Income taxes.  They pay taxes when they buy something or get paid...SS, Medi Workman's comp etc.

There is no way you can live in this country and not pay "a dime in Taxes"

Zeeva
Zeeva

Perhaps some of you have forgot that it is ILLEGAL to enter the USA without proper papers? How did this nation forget this?

It's not about race. It's not even about being a democrat or republican!I'm as black as the day is long. And I'm a democrat...BUT I do not condone or believe that anyone should be allowed to enter the USA illegally and stay with full support.

If I have to follow the laws and rules set forth by our own laws why should those entering ILLEGALLY not be held to the same standard?

COfoEVA
COfoEVA

 Unfortunately it is not that simple.  People are going to come here whether we like it or not.  We are fighting a losing battle and spending billions deporting them.  Something MUST be done to stop the bleeding (literally and figuratively).

And these people are now documented and easier to track, aka easier to arrest for a crime.

PS. No one cares what your failed logic believes.

Paul Balbas
Paul Balbas

 Perhaps yo uhave forgotten it is illegal to pay someone under the tabel who is here illegally.  Where is your outrage for that? 

Where is your outrage at the Farm owners who whine they have to pay citizens too much money to work in the fields?  Where is your outrage at Chipotle for having 8 stores raided with nothing but illegals working there.  Hiring illegals allows biz owners to skip on paying taxes on the employee and hides it in there federal taxes.  They are more crooked than someone who has come here looking for a job.

So where is your outrage?

ninesixteen
ninesixteen

People are outraged about people working illegally.  This illegal and unethical behavior on the part of employers is condoned by both political parties in Washington.  That's  why efforts to make E-Verify mandatory nationwide have failed.

E-Verify mandated to check all jobs, current and future is the cost effective way to bring illegal immigration under control.  Simply allowing people illegally in the country to become legal every 20 years only encourages more and more to circumvent out laws, as we saw from the alleged one-time only legalization program of 1986.   It might have been successful had the worksite enforcement promised back then ever materialized.  However our coopted congress has made sure there would be no substantive enforcement.

This is not a partisan issue.  This is about the failure of our government to enforce our country's laws instead putting the interests of foreigners above those of US Citizens.

KAREN WILLIAMS
KAREN WILLIAMS

I have heard a lot of outrage on that, and I do mean A  lot. but  who do you think these businesses would hire if the illegals was not here. they would be hiring Americans at min-wage they would have no choice. would these businesses be braking the law if the illegals was not here. NO they would not, would these businesses be paying their taxes on their American employees if the illegals was not here, YES they would they would have no choice. So you just pointed out that the illegals that is here is preventing law abiding Americans of getting a min-wage jobs, and I happen to know a lot of Americans that would love to have a min-wage job, any job at this point would be nice. So where is your outrage?