Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed an executive order on Wednesday in an effort to resist deferred action, President Obama’s new policy that will allow up to 1.7 million young immigrants to apply for U.S. work permits. On the same day that the federal government began to accept applications, Brewer signed an order that denies eligible illegal immigrants access to public benefits, including state I.D.s.
In the order, Brewer writes that the “Deferred Action program does not and cannot confer lawful or authorized status or presence upon the unlawful alien applicants.” She added that deferred action cannot “provide for any additional public benefit to unlawfully present aliens” aside from the opportunity to gain a work permit and avoid deportation.
While undocumented youths lined up across the country to apply for the program Wednesday, Brewer instructed state agencies to use all means to protect “the intent of Arizona voters and lawmakers,” who have passed laws and approved ballot initiatives that exclude all illegal residents from accessing taxpayer-financed benefits.
In contrast to Arizona, the New York City Council has announced that it will invest $3 million in legal services to deferral applicants, offered through a network of community organizations.