Many young immigrants in Arizona are enjoying their new level of protection from deportation under President Obama by putting in requests for driver’s licenses and identification cards on Monday.
According to the AP, young immigrants waited patiently outside of various Motor Vehicle Division offices throughout the state, and when the doors opened, a cheer from the crowd went up. Reporters interviewed some young people who said they were excited to get their licenses and drive legally without the fear of getting pulled over.
Over the next few weeks, state officials have said they are expecting many more young immigrants to apply for licenses and ID cards.
This is a shift from Gov. Jan Brewer’s policy which initially denied licenses to an estimated 20,000 immigrants. On Dec. 18 though, according to FOX News, U.S. District Judge David Campbell barred the state from enforcing Brewer’s policy.
Attorneys for Brewer have said the move to deny licenses to immigrants was based on liability concerns, as well as making sure immigrant license holders do not improperly access public benefit programs.
Brewer has since asked the Supreme Court to review the decision.
The transportation officials have said they will begin work immediately on processing the applications for licenses and IDs for eligible immigrants. Those who are eligible for licenses and IDs are immigrants younger than 30 who came to the U.S. before they were 16, who have lived in the U.S. for at least five consecutive years, who are enrolled in or graduated from high school or an equivalent program, or those immigrants who have, or are, serving in the military.