President Obama may have been too far away on the campaign trail in Iowa today, but that didn't stop Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer from her latest finger-wagging media stunt of state's rights defiance.
Once again placing Arizona at the forefront of political posturing at the expense of immigrants, right-wing "superhero" Brewer issued a fairly inconsequential but incendiary executive order reminding state agencies that today's beginning of the federal Deferred Action program for undocumented youth "does not provide for any additional public benefit to unlawfully present aliens."
Especially if those aliens want driver's licenses. Arizona laws already prohibit undocumented residents from accessing driver's licenses or public benefits.
In a total disregard for the documented economic and social benefits from Obama's Deferred Action for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, Brewer's order railed about 80,000 potential recipients in the state, including some "unlawfully present aliens inappropriately gaining access to public benefits contrary to the intent of Arizona voters."
Two months ago, Brewer drew statewide condemnation for her hastily called press conference on the president's deferred action announcement, which she framed as an "amnesty."
In a released statement, the Phoenix-based Puente human rights group blasted Brewer for her timing and actions:
Once again, [Brewer] has stood on the wrong side of history by implementing anti-immigrant policies and directly contradicting federal mandates related to immigration. By taking public action against President Obama's policy that will potentially grant work permits to over one million undocumented young people, Brewer has once again put Arizona's name on the map as the epicenter of anti-immigrant racism and hate.
Strangely enough, Brewer and Arizona's right-wing politicos have their own issues with driver's licenses and following the law; in 1988, Brewer failed sobriety tests after a car accident in Phoenix.
Then a state senator, Brewer received immunity from arrest and prosecution.