Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has issued an executive order that would deny drivers licenses and other public benefits to illegal aliens who obtain work permits under the Obama DREAM act policy.
In an executive order, Brewer said she was reaffirming the intent of current Arizona law denying taxpayer-funded public benefits and state identification to illegal immigrants.
Young illegal immigrants around the nation on Wednesday began the process of applying for federal work permits under the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
The federal policy defers deportations for that group if they meet certain criteria, including arrival in the United States before they turned 16 and no convictions for certain crimes.
After President Barack Obama announced the policy change in June, Brewer labeled it "backdoor amnesty" and political pandering by the Democratic president.
Arizona has been in the vanguard of states enacting laws against illegal immigration.
The U.S. Supreme Court in June overturned parts of the Arizona enforcement law known as SB1070 but ruled that a key provision on requiring police to ask people about their immigration status under certain circumstances can be implemented.
The Obama administration challenged that law in 2010 after Brewer signed it into law.
In the past decade, Arizona voters twice approved laws denying publicly funded services, such as in-state resident university tuition rates, to illegal immigrants unless mandated by the federal government.
Brewer's order said the policy's federal paperwork doesn't confer lawful status on illegal immigrants and won't entitle them to Arizona public benefits.
However, it said the policy change "could result in some unlawfully present aliens inappropriately gaining access to public benefits contrary to the intent of Arizona voters and lawmakers who enacted laws expressly restricting access to taxpayer funded benefits and state identification."
Brewer directed state agencies to start any necessary emergency rulemaking processes to implement her order.
Bewer is well within her rights to do this, as it is compatible with state law. Washington can't force her to dispense benefits to those who are here illegally -- even if they've recieved a deportation waiver and work permit.
You know that a lawsuit will follow shortly. And it's possible some activist liberal judge will rule that she has to go against state law and give the benefits to illegals. But I don't think advocates have a leg to stand on, as long as the state law remains on the books.