An appeals court blocked Gov. Jan Brewer's policy of denying driver's licenses to young immigrants, who have gotten work permits and avoided deportation under the Obama administration’s Deferred Action policy.
The ruling Monday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals marks a victory for immigrant rights advocates, who argued the young immigrants were harmed by unequal treatment by the state. They said that denying them driver’s licenses created a separate class of people because Arizona issues licenses to others who have deferred action status.
The appeals court agreed on that issue, and said the advocates also showed a likelihood that the immigrants would be harmed by the state's denial.
The Obama administration took steps in June 2012 to shield thousands of young immigrants from deportation.
The state revised its driver's license policy by halting licenses to all people who receive deportation deferrals from the federal government, not just young immigrants given protection under Obama's policy.
In a written statement, Brewer said the ruling, “continues us down a dangerous path in which courts and the president – not Congress – make our national laws.”
Brewer said she is reviewing her options for an appeal.
The Associated Press contributed to this report