Governor Brewer of Arizona has been involved in at least three major battles over what many see as discriminatory legislation during her tenure. First came, SB 1070, a law she signed that sanctioned racial profiling targeting immigrants, parts of which were later declared unconstitutional. Then came SB 1062, a law that would have allowed discrimination against people (including LGBT people) one disagreed with on the basis of one's religion, which Brewer finally vetoed after much pressure. Now an executive order that Brewer issued in 2012 that denied deferred action (DACA) recipients, better known as Dreamers (including LGBT undocumented people) a right to driver's licenses has been deemed unconstitutional by a Federal judge.
President Obama signed Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals order in 2012 allowing undocumented young people to work and go to school with authorization, although it is not a permanent immigration status solution. Many with DACA status still face challenges like having no authorization to drive to and from home, school, or work in Arizona, paying out of state tuition in many states and struggling to find affordable health care.
Advocates say that although DACA and other policies provide some relief until a comprehensive and humane federal overhaul of the current immigration system is passed by Congress or implemented through presidential Executive Order, immigrants still face strong hurdles that keep them from accomplishing the most mundane tasks of everyday life. And these hurdles impact all our communities whether documented, or not.
"For two years we have been fighting Gov. Brewer of Arizona and her unjust Executive Order and we are glad to hear that the federal judge struck it down. But this is not enough. It's tough being a queer immigrant-just trying to get reliable transportation to and from school is a hassle, especially with this order in place. A driver's license would give me more safety, stability, and independence in my life. I face daily discrimination and harassment for being who I am and so many in my community do too. It's time for an immediate relief for all immigrants including LGBTQ immigrants. I hope the judge's decision inspires us all, LGBT, or not, undocumented or not, to push for a change to this broken system," said Francisco Luna, Co-Chair of Arizona Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project a chapter of The Arizona Dream Act Coalition.