Undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children – otherwise known as Dreamers following the 2012 passing of the DREAM Act by President Obama – showed up as early as 4am on Monday at the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles to finally put in a legal application for a driver’s license.
Governor Jan Brewer had previously implemented a policy banning the young immigrants from obtaining driver’s licenses in the state, a policy that was slapped down last Thursday by a preliminary injunction from US district judge David Campbell. Bigger crowds and even longer lines are expected in the weeks to come across the state, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
28-year-old Maria Sanchez was the first in line at a south Phoenix Motor Vehicle Division office. She is one of approximately 22,000 such immigrants who have been unable to legally drive in the state of Arizona, which is the only state other than Nebraska to have had such a strict policy. “The day I heard on the news we could get our licenses, I was jumping around and was so excited,” she says.
Less excited was Governor Jan Brewer, who declared the judge’s decision “outrageous” and made it very clear that the fight is not over and that she intends to have an appeal against the injunction heard by the Supreme Court.