Arizona Dream Act Coalition v. Brewer
IRLI filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in support of the state of Arizona, which was sued by an illegal alien pressure group to force the state to grant eligibility for driver’s licenses to millions of illegal aliens falling under the Obama administration’s lawless Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The state defendants are asking the Ninth Circuit to reverse the lower court’s decision to mandate that they issue the licenses or be in violation of the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Obama administration has filed an amicus curiae brief on the side of the pressure group plaintiffs.
In our brief, IRLI argued that, contrary to what was asserted by the plaintiffs, DACA aliens are not like aliens with formal status who are allowed licenses in the state, first and foremost because the program under which DACA aliens claim their status is in violation of federal law. IRLI also argued that, for the purposes of applying a level of judicial scrutiny to the facts of the case, a requirement for unequal treatment claims, the court should merely ask themselves, is Arizona’s policy “rationally related” to a legitimate state interest. IRLI asked the court to answer in the affirmative and confirm that keeping benefits out of the hands of illegal aliens is absolutely in the interest of the lawful residents of Arizona.
In mid-2015, the Ninth Circuit asked for supplemental briefing on preemption issues. IRLI again filed an amicus curiae brief with the court supporting Arizona to ensure the court was presented with an accurate history of executive discretion and the limited remedies available in this case. Specifically, IRLI argued that DACA is an unconstitutional ultra vires agency action and that even if the plaintiffs were successful, they would not be permitted to obtain an Arizona driver’s license because federal law prohibits granting state benefits to illegal aliens absent a state law passed after 1996 opting out of the federal prohibition and Arizona has not opted out of the federal law.