President Obama's "deferred action" program allows some young illegal immigrants to stay in the country. But Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has forbidden them from getting driver's licenses.
Gov. Brewer has issued an executive order saying they can't have driver's licenses. And Tuesday, a group gathered at the capitol urging the governor to change her mind.
They believe the governor has no reason to continue on this path, and they cite updated guidelines from Homeland Security that came out late last week that essentially say the young people in this program should get licenses.
They called on the governor to reverse her decision.
"What if she was in our situation," cries Elisa Vega.
This has been an emotional process for Elisa Vega. She was thrilled when she got deferred action -- then came the bad news -- no driver's license.
"I went and I they told me that I was not allowed to even get an identification card," she says. "I want to go back to school. I need to go back to school, I need a driver's license, I need to work."
An estimated 80,000 young people in Arizona are eligible for deferred action.
"She is wanting to pick a fight with President Obama and the federal government. No, not at the expense of these young people who have earned the right to be in this country. To be able to work in this country," says State Senator Steve Gallardo, Phoenix Democrat.
After the governor's decision last summer, Arizona became one of 6 states to refuse to give them driver's licenses.
"I think they should have it but I think they should have it the legal way. You pass the bill in congress and most congressmen approve of it and the president signs it. That is the way we do lawmaking. We don't circumvent congress," says State Representative Jon Kavanaugh, Fountain Hills Republican.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, these young people should have the same rights as anyone else with a work permit. Elisa Vega hopes the governor can sympathize.
"I just want for her to be in our shoes, for her to struggle just to see how bad it is. We need those licenses, we need an ID, something."
The Governor's office has said it's reviewing Homeland Security's updated guidelines. But at this point, there's no word on whether Brewer will reverse her decision.
KDFW FOX 4
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