It was a breakthrough day for the immigration community yesterday, as undocumented young people were finally able to take advantage of President Obama's deferred action policy. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R), however, chose to honor the occasion in an odd way.
The Republican governor, perhaps best known for signing Arizona's anti-immigrant SB1070 into law, issued a state executive order yesterday instructing state agencies not to provide any public benefits, including driver's licenses, to immigrants who receive work permits through Obama's policy.
This seemed like a major setback for many Arizona families, but Nick Martin reported Brewer's move doesn't actually do much of anything.
[W]hile the order sounded harsh, at least one high-ranking Democrat in Arizona quickly threw cold water on it, saying Brewer's declaration appears to be little more than hot air.
"It doesn't seem to really do anything," state Senate Democratic Leader David Schapira told TPM. "I see it as her once again trying to grandstand on the issue of immigration." [...]
Schapira pointed out that Arizona already had a number of strict immigration laws in place, including one that barred illegal immigrants from getting drivers licenses or state issued identification cards. The law may have already been interpreted to bar any newly immune immigrants from getting those state IDs, Schapira said. That means Brewer's order effectively carried no weight at all.
TPM also posted the audio of a radio appearance in which Brewer tried to explain her own actions, but seemed confused about state and federal law, and had to pause during the interview "as if listening to somebody in the background."
But if Brewer's action doesn't actually do anything, and she doesn't understand the policy itself, why'd she issue the order? It would appear it's because she doesn't like President Obama or immigrants, and this little stunt made her feel better.
She's quite a governor, isn't she?