Texas is leading a 14-state coalition petitioning the federal government to allow Arizona to deny undocumented immigrants the right to acquire a driver’s license. The group of states includes Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Mississippi.
During the Obama Administration, the White House enacted an executive action called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that protects undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors from deportation. DACA allows eligible immigrants to file for renewable two-year periods of deferred action and makes them eligible to file for legal work permits and driver’s licenses.
Citing these DACA provisions, the 9th Circuit ruled to require Arizona to allow undocumented immigrants to acquire driver’s licenses using federal work permits. Texas, however, believes this decision removes authority and sovereignty from individual states over their own ability to grant state-issued official documents.