On the first day that President Barack Obama’s new shift in immigration policy went into effect, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer pushed back, signing an executive order that prevents the illegal immigrants brought to the country as children from receiving public benefits, Arizona driver’s licenses and state identification cards.On Wednesday, the Obama administration policy known as “deferred action for child arrivals” went into effect. That prompted Brewer to issue the executive order, which she writes “reaffirms the intent of the Arizona law in response to the federal government’s deferred action program.”
Brewer has been at the forefront of one side of the illegal immigration debate, and she has clashed with Obama all the way up to the Supreme Court. The high court struck down most of Brewer’s controversial SB 1070 immigration law in June.
Brewer ended her order by slamming Obama, writing that an estimated 80,000 immigrants would leave “significant and lasting impacts on the Arizona budget, its health care system and additional public benefits that Arizona taxpayers fund.”
The executive order was largely symbolic, however, as Brewer said in a news conference that nothing had really changed from existing Arizona law that bars illegal immigrants from obtaining public benefits or a driver’s licence.
Thousands of illegal immigrants that met the government’s new criteria lined up on Wednesday for work permits. The immigrants must be between the ages of 15 and 31 and have been brought to the U.S. before the age of 16. They also need to have graduated from high school, be currently in high school or have served in the U.S. military.
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