Governor Jan Brewer said Tuesday that her recent order to deny driver’s licenses and other state benefits to people eligible for deferred action was motivated not by hatred of Hispanics or immigrants but by her desire to reaffirm the intent of state laws. In defending her order, Governor Brewer said that the federal government and parents of young illegal immigrants are at fault for the circumstances in which young DREAMers now find themselves.
“I think everybody in Arizona (and) across the country has compassion for those children that have been brought here illegally by their parents,” said Brewer. “But it is not our responsibility. It is their parents’ responsibility. They need to follow the law.”
Immigrants rights advocates have condemned Brewer’s order denying benefits to people who qualify for deferred action as cold-hearted, misguided, and legally questionable. Brewer responded that legislation must take place through Congress, at the federal level,
“in order to rectify what has taken place.” In the meantime, Brewer said her order will make sure that state agencies adhere to the intent of state laws, which deny public benefits to illegal immigrants.
Brewer emphasized the need to prioritize border security. According to Brewer, Washington should tackle other immigration-related concerns only once the border is secure.