DREAMers and Governor Brewer ready for drivers license showdown

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DREAMers and Governor Brewer ready for drivers license showdown

CREATED Nov 29, 2012

Reporter: Marcelino Benito

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - They can work here, but they can't drive here. President Obama says one thing, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer says another.

Caught in this legal limbo here in Arizona: 11,000 children of illegal immigrants who don't know what to expect. A lawsuit filed in federal court Thursday could clear up everything.

Adan Carrasco is a young immigrant who now has his work permit to stay in the country.

"I got hired," he said. "I got my social security too."

What he doesn't have is an Arizona driver's license.

"I won't feel 100 percent safe until I have an ID or drivers license," Carrasco said.

Governor Jan Brewer says he can't have one, and he has some choice words for her.

"I think she really is a racist at heart," Carrasco said. "I don't think she's happy with what our President has done."

But now a new lawsuit aims to put the brakes on Governor Brewer to overturn her decision denying drivers licenses for illegal immigrants granted work permits.

"There's no valid justification to her decision to do that, and it's amazing that people are taking a stand against her," he said.

The lawsuit claims the president's immigration policy trumps the governor's order meaning the fight could be settled in court down the road.

9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito spoke to Juanita Molina, executive director at Border Action Network. She told 9OYS that she's optimistic the lawsuit will succeed.

"Absolutely, because there really isn't a legal precedent to uphold her executive order," she said.

The Governor disagrees.

In a statement to 9OYS, her spokesperson Matthew Benson told us in part, "Governor Brewer has a duty and obligation to defend state law...which limits the disbursement of Arizona driver's licenses to individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States. Beneficiaries under the Deferred Action program are not."

Carrasco's response: "She's always trying to crush the dreams of everyone with her inhumane views of immigration."

For now the governor's Executive Order doesn't hurt Carrasco. He drives with his Mexican driver's license. But in two months, that license will expire and the nightmare could begin. But he's hopeful this is not the end of the road.

"Where there's a will there's a way," Carrasco said. "I'll find a way to get to work. If I have to take the bus, I'll do that."

The suit was filed on behalf of five young-adult immigrants who have been granted deferred action status. If the suit is successful, all other young immigrants granted deferred action in Arizona including Carrasco could join the lawsuit.