Stop Denying Driver’s Licenses to Immigrants

Entering Arizona on I-10 from New Mexico - Wing-Chi Poon

Target: Doug Ducey, Governor of Arizona

Goal: Stop denying immigrants in deferred action programs driver’s licenses.

A group of five immigrants in Arizona are being denied driver’s licenses by the state even though they are part of America’s deferred action program that allows them to live and work in the country without fearing deportation. Owning and driving a car makes life convenient for so many citizens who use that car to travel to school or work. By denying immigrants this right, the state is holding them back and denying them opportunities.

Among the immigrants who have been denied driver’s licenses are a cancer-stricken single mother and a domestic abuse victim. Immigrants are awarded deferred action if they have suffered from terrorism, crime, and humanitarian issues. This is a group of people who have already suffered immensely. They are attempting to build a better life for themselves, but are denied the basic right of driving a car simply because they were not born here.

Denying driver’s licenses to deferred action recipients is the product of former Arizona governor Jan Brewer, who argued that the licenses would be used to take advantage of public welfare and benefits programs. Initially, only the immigrants who were brought illegally to the nation as children were denied licenses. When the federal court ruled that the state’s actions were unconstitutional because they took licenses away from one group of deferred action immigrants and not another, the state stopped giving licenses to these groups of immigrants altogether.

By denying these immigrants the right and ability to drive a car, the state of Arizona is only hurting them. Without a license, they cannot use a car to drive to school to get an education or to work to earn a living wage. In addition, denying licenses is also taking away a form of official identification these people need to apply for credit cards, fill out job applications, and so much more.

A driver’s license may seem like a small request, but it opens so many doors and would be a major help to a group of people who have suffered so much already. Sign our petition to demand that Arizona governor Doug Ducey overturn the actions of his preceding governor.


Dear Governor Ducey,

Your state is facing a lawsuit after a group of five immigrants claimed they are being treated unconstitutionally because they have been denied driver’s licenses. Governor Jan Brewer, who preceded you, enacted a policy that denied driver’s licenses to any deferred action immigrant.

These immigrants, often survivors of crime, abuse, and terror, have already suffered immensely. They came to this nation and were protected by our federal government. They sought to make a better life for themselves. Instead, they are being denied one of the most basic rights a citizen has. A driver’s license enables one to drive a car to and from school and work. It acts as a form of identification that some people need to apply for everything from jobs to credit cards.

I ask you to overturn Arizona’s controversial ruling on the issue. Regardless of your political opinions on immigration, these immigrants are ones that the federal government sought to protect. You are only adding to their hardships if you deny them something as simple as a driver’s license.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Wing-Chi Poon

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