Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer seems to have an unlimited supply of antagonism toward the undocumented. Any movement in the immigration front inspires in her a visceral reaction, the result of resentment and fear of undocumented immigrants.
Otherwise, how else to explain that the same day the process to apply for deferred deportation began, she issued an executive order to prevent those beneficiaries from having access to state public benefits-such as state IDs, including the one that gives the privilege to drive.
In the world of Brewer and her supporters, these teenagers and young adults under 31 who were brought to the United States without their consent by their parents, are hordes ready to loot public coffers. This is an exaggerated reaction any way you look at it, especially when nothing indicates these youths can automatically have access to public benefits or driver’s licenses.
As far as the state regulation of not allowing them to drive, Arizona residents will be the ones harmed, prevented from developing their potential by transportation obstacles.
Even if Arizona dislikes deferred deportation, these beneficiaries are not deportable; this state should start learning to deal with realities in a more positive way.
But at this point, Arizona has become a political parody thanks to Brewer, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and a host of secondary characters who combine ignorance with political opportunism to support the ongoing harassment of immigrants. Even its NFL team, the Arizona Cardinals, became the first franchise in the league to institutionally donate money to a politician, contributing $5,000 to JANPAC, Brewer’s superpac.
The election that last year ousted the mastermind of SB 1070, Russell Pearce, awakened a tepid hope that there would be common sense in Arizona. But neither that nor the unconstitutionality of most of that law seemed to calm Brewer’s rabid extremism on immigration.
From the beginning, we thought fear and hate against undocumented immigrants would hurt Arizona. Today, after Brewer’s executive order, we are more convinced than ever of the overall negative impact this policy will have.