IRLI Files Supplemental Brief in the Ninth Circuit in Support of Arizona’s Right to Refuse Benefits

Press Releases

August 10, 2015

Returning the Rule of Law to the People of Arizona

August 10, 2015

(Washington, D.C.) – On Friday evening, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in support of the state of Arizona who was sued by an illegal alien pressure group to force the state into granting eligibility for driver’s licenses to millions of illegal aliens falling under the Obama Administration’s lawless Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In the case of Arizona Dream Act Coalition v. Brewer (Civil Action No. 15-15307), the State Defendants are asking the Ninth Circuit to reverse the lower court’s decision to mandate that they issue the licenses. Although briefs on the merits were submitted in June, the Ninth Circuit requested supplemental briefing addressing preemption, the Take Care Clause, and Separation of Powers issues.

IRLI filed a brief (attached here) 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. IRLI also argued that even if the plaintiffs are successful, they are not 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. Arizona has not opted out of the federal law.

Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s Executive Director, commented, “By claiming DACA-recipients must be given driver’s licenses by the state of Arizona, Plaintiffs and the Obama Administration are claiming that the Executive has unlimited discretion in deciding who is and who is not allowed formal immigration status in this country. But as we detail in our brief, court precedent and the Constitution makes it clear that this decision has always been one for the American citizens through their representatives.” Wilcox further commented, “We will continue the fight for federalism and states’ rights and hold this administration accountable to the rule of law.”

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