On August 15 the Department of Homeland Security started accepting requests for deferred action from DREAM Act-eligible youth, or DREAMers—undocumented students who were brought to this country at a young age, have been living here for more than five years, and meet certain other requirements. Those students who receive deferred action will be permitted to live and work in the country lawfully for a two-year period.
But on the very same day that a new world of opportunity opened up for these kids, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer tried to steal the spotlight by issuing an executive order denying state benefits to the approximately 53,000 potential beneficiaries residing in the state.
While a close reading of Gov. Brewer’s order reveals that much of it is redundant to current law, it’s important to note that this mean-spirited initiative from America’s most famously anti-immigrant governor will likely further tarnish the image of the Canyon State as an unwelcoming hotbed of intolerance while harming its economy. Despite the governor’s claims, many Arizonans support DREAMers.
Gov. Brewer’s political posturing hurts Arizona in the following three ways:
- Her executive order is on shaky legal ground.
- She wants to keep people from getting to work and thereby limit economic growth.
- She is not representing the people of Arizona.
For the sake of Arizona’s reputation and its economic future, Gov. Brewer’s injudicious incursions into immigration policymaking must come to an end.
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