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U.S. Opinions: New York

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Letting Dreamers drive

From an editorial Tuesday in the New York Times:

For a change, Arizonans are getting some good news on immigration. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state cannot deny driver’s licenses to young unauthorized immigrants whom the federal government has given protection from deportation and permission to work.

It may seem puzzling that any state would want to punish a group of college students and military veterans who have passed federal background checks and have working papers and Social Security numbers and prevent them from driving legally. Without licenses, these young people often cannot get to work. But there is no explaining the vindictiveness that Arizona’s Republican-led political establishment reserves for immigrants and those with immigrant roots, especially Latinos.

In that context, it was no surprise that President Barack Obama’s decision two years ago to temporarily halt the deportations of young immigrants known as Dreamers, who were brought here without permission as minors, did not go over well in Arizona.

There is, of course, no explanation for Brewer’s policy other than spiteful politics, which takes any opportunity – like the child-refugee crisis at the border – to attack the president and fan the flames of nativist resentment. It’s a relief whenever the courts and the groups that challenged the executive order manage to keep Arizona on the right side of the law.

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