As young illegal immigrants lined up to apply for President Obama's deferred-deportation program yesterday, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer made it clear where she stands on the issue. Brewer yesterday issued an executive order stating that young immigrants granted work permits under the program would not be able to receive any public benefits, including driver's licenses or other state-issued ID, BusinessWeek reports. The governor, who has repeatedly clashed with the federal government over immigration, said the new program's documents do not prove lawful status in the US.
Brewer said the order was a direct response to the president's move, although critics noted that it was merely restating existing law. "It doesn’t seem to really do anything," state Senate Democratic Leader David Schapira tells Talking Points Memo. "I see it as her once again trying to grandstand on the issue of immigration." Brewer herself admitted that the order "actually is no different than what was already in place." Asked what role the state would play in the new program, she said, "We will issue an employment authorization card to these people," then paused and said, "The feds will." (Read more immigration stories.)