The DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) was first introduced by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) in August 2001. The original bill would apply only to illegals who entered the US when they were minors and have lived here for a minimum of 5 years and have graduated from high school. If these young illegals completed 2 years of college (or college equivalent program) or 2 years of active military service, they would be granted temporary residency in the US for a period of 6 years. If they fulfilled all of the requirements and have remained free of any criminal activity, they could then be eligible to apply for permanent residency.
The DREAM Act of 2001 was never approved, but not forgotten. Versions of it have been introduced in 2007, 2009 and 2011, but again, the measured was never passed. In May of 2012, President Barack Obama announced that he was issuing an executive order to stop the deportation of young illegals who basically met the requirements spelled out in the DREAM Act. He called his program the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. Technically, he bypassed Congress to establish a new law which in reality is a violation of the Constitution, but no one seems to care to do anything about it.
Under Obama’s provision, these under 30 illegals would be granted permits to work in the U.S. which also entitled them to a number of state and federal benefits. One of those benefits included obtaining a valid state driver’s license. This provision instantly raised alarm flags among many conservatives.
In Arizona, the state that has been at the center of the immigration debate, Governor Jan Brewer took immediate action of her own and issued an executive order barring all of Obama’s illegals from obtaining any state benefits. Those benefits included unemployment benefits, health insurance, state-subsidized child care, business or professional licenses, government contracts and driver’s licenses. Brewer stated that the state was not prepared to bear the cost of Obama’s program, which they believed to be illegal anyway.
Many conservatives in the state saw the issue involving driver’s licenses as another opportunity for Democratic voter fraud. In many states, all a person needs is a valid driver’s license and to just answer yes to questions of citizenship in order to get registered to vote. In fact, a number of conservatives including myself, believed that Obama’s Dream Act was timed just a few months prior to the election in order so that thousands of illegals would be able to get driver’s licenses and register to vote in time for the November election. Since voter fraud is a theme of the Democratic Party, Republicans in many areas did what they could to prevent it from happening.
Brewer’s executive order was immediately challenged by several civil rights groups including the ACLU, claiming that her action violated the civil rights of illegal aliens. On Thursday, US Federal Judge David Campbell refused to block Brewer’s executive order in denying young illegals the right to obtain a driver’s license.
While the ruling seemed to be a victory for Brewer and the state of Arizona, the judge left the door open for further legal action. He said that the lawsuit had some merit because prior to Obama’s program, the state did grant driver’s licenses to immigrants that had valid work permits. However, he did rule against one of the lawsuit’s provisions that claimed that Brewer’s policy was pre-empted by federal law.
Gov. Brewer says the ruling is a victory for the state and that she was overjoyed that Judge Campbell denied the injunction that had been asked for.
ACLU for Arizona says that they will continue to challenge Brewer’s executive order and believe that eventually it will be overruled and thrown out.
If you want my opinion, here it is:
I believe that President Obama acted illegally when he bypassed Congress to establish law, especially since Congress failed to pass the said law on more than one occasion. Therefore, Immigration and Customs Enforcement should detain and deport all illegal immigrants and require them to enter the country through the same legal means as the millions of legal immigrants have done for years. Then and only then should they be eligible for the same benefits we citizens get and nothing more!