Arizona is expanding its controversial driver's license ban to nearly all undocumented immigrants whose deportations have been deferred, state officials announced.
Arizona already had a license ban in place for young immigrants given work permits under a deferred deportation policy championed by President Barack Obama.
Arizona told a federal appeals court this week that it will no longer issue driver’s licenses in any category of deferred removal who receive work permits.
The change came after a U.S. District Court judge ruled in May that Arizona’s policy was likely discriminatory. That’s because some immigrants with work permits get driver’s licenses yet those protected under Obama’s program can’t.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona calls the policy change “vindictive.”
Gov. Jan Brewer’s spokesman calls it a “policy change” that doesn’t deny a license to anyone who gets a regular federal work permit.
Critics of the ban say it unfairly makes life more difficult for many people granted a suspension of deportation such as victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.