Hear Me Out: President Obama and Governor Brewer square off on The DREAM Act

PHOENIX - Each Sunday, ABC15.com debuts an Arizona issue - along with two opposing sides on the topic.

Don't worry, you always have the opportunity to make comments at the bottom of the page. Yeah, your opinion matters, too.

This weekend, we're taking a look at the back-and-forth between President Obama and Governor Brewer concerning The DREAM Act (an acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors).

Natacha Andrews, Esq., is an immigration attorney with Andrews Law, PLC., in Chandler. She disagrees with the Governor's executive order blocking benefits for DREAMers, and that The DREAM Act is well within the President's legal authority.

Terry Gilberg is a journalist-turned-talk host with NewsTalk 550 KFYI. She says that the Governor was correct in blocking the President's executive order because he has not gone through Congress to amend current immigration law.

Click "next page" to read the first of two positions, "Scorpions Make you Spiteful"


Scorpions Make you Spiteful, by Natacha Andrews, Esq.

Janet Brewer's recent Executive Order is in direct opposition to a humane effort to make the best of a bad situation. Her "You're Not the Boss of Me!" approach is easily recognized by most parents as the ranting's of a 3-year-old. The assertion that granting driver's licenses to DREAMers is somehow an offense to citizens is irrational. Driver's licenses mean that streets are safer, drivers have been trained and evaluated. They allow people to get to work and pay taxes. License distribution contributes revenue to the government. Working people can participate in society rather than dangle idly on its fringes. Between application fees, jobs created to process applications, renewal fees, and economic stimulus of new workers, where is the offense?

She paints President Obama as a "rogue President" who ] opened a flood gate of criminals "taking our jobs" and siphoning American benefits.  In fact Americans will benefit through this policy.  No flood gate has opened. Eligible applicants are already here, and have been for at least five years. Some came as young as one day old.  They went to school with you, coached your soccer team. You bought Thin Mints and Samoa's from them outside of the supermarket. Unlike your citizen relative, who has been in and out of trouble for his "youthful indiscretions,'" they have been squeaky clean.  They had to be or else they couldn't apply. They graduated from school, served our country honorably or obtained their GED. They want to work, contribute to society, drive without fears of being sent to a place where they have no real roots, ties, or vested interest.  If Brewer was as zealous about keeping Arizona's young citizens  "on track" as the Obama Administration is concerning applicants for DACA, perhaps Arizona's "legal" children would spend more time striving for academic goals and less shooting their classmates. She states that their burden is, "not our responsibility. It is their parents' responsibility. They need to follow the law." Likewise she should follow the law of the land and her own state.

Brewer fails to realize that the President is the boss of her when dealing with immigration-further, WE are the boss of her. We did not hire her to flaunt her buffoonery. Deferred Action is well within the President's legal authority. Her opposition is not founded in the law. It is a tantrum. Brewer's order lacks "bite," and instructs agencies not to follow the President's  authority.  She admits her order "changes nothing."  In other words, it accomplishes nothing.  She represents the negative minority, and fuels the flame of hate by standing up in ignorance, for ignorance. Moreover, her order contradicts law and policies of the state she claims to represent. The acceptable documents listed on Arizona's MVD website include "Employment Authorization Documents and Social Security cards", both of which are available to recipients of all forms of deferred action.

She has authored administrative chaos, with no manner of implementation. Currently EAD's are issued to various categories of foreign nationals and legal residents. There is no distinction between asylees, immigrant victims of domestic violence and DREAMers with work permits, how then will MVD agents proceed?  Will she further subject already marginalized youth, not responsible for their parent's choices, to additional hardship? What legacy will she leave in her wake for the next generation to untangle? Perhaps instead of "Scorpions for Breakfast", Brewer should consider porridge.

Natacha Andrews, Esq., is an immigration attorney with Andrews Law, PLC., in Chandler Arizona. She specializes in family and employment based immigration and is actively involved with voter registration and naturalization efforts. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and founder of Building Bridges, a non-profit cultural enrichment program. A first generation American, Mrs. Andrews is native of New Jersey and is fluent in French, Spanish and Haitian Kreyole. She is the mother of five and is happily married to James Andrews, Partner and real estate attorney at Andrews Law. For more information on Andrews Law, visit www.andrewslawplc.com or contact Ms. Andrews directly at natacha@andrewslawplc.com. She is also on Twitter at @LibertyBelleLaw.

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Click "next page" to read the second position, "DREAMERS, BREWER, AND OBAMA"

DREAMERS, BREWER, AND OBAMA, by Terry Gilberg, Host, NewsTalk 550 KFYI, Phoenix

When President Obama issued an executive order to give illegal immigrants known as "Dreamers" (a term derived from The Dream Act) a green light for a work permit and a two-year deferment from deportation, there was instant joy from one camp and instant distain from another.  The same reaction occurred when Arizona Governor Jan Brewer issued her own executive order saying "not so fast."  Through the stroke of the Executive Branch pen, Mr. Obama essentially declared that offspring of illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, could have the go-ahead to seek work without the fear of being deported-at least for awhile.  But on the day the motion was put into motion, the Governor picked up her own pen ordering state agencies to follow state law, reminding them that Dreamers are not entitled to state-issued driver's licenses, state benefits, or in-state tuition prices should they want to enroll in Arizona universities.  President Obama said Dreamers can seek work.  Governor Brewer said that may be, but no breaks, no bennies, and no driver's licenses.  

To be eligible for Obama's "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals," illegal immigrants have to be younger than 31, have had to have come to the U.S. before the age of 16, enrolled in school, served in the U.S. armed services or graduated from high school, and have no criminal record.  This plan refers to approximately 80,000 undocumented people in Arizona.   

Arizonans know Brewer and Obama aren't the best of friends.   After SB 1070 was signed, the Obama Administration sued the state.  When Brewer invited Obama to tour the border, he declined her offer to see firsthand just how porous the state's back door really is.  When invited for a sit-down to discuss solutions to our vexing immigration issue, Obama instead gave Dreamers work permits, without even bothering to consult Congress, the established government forum which passes laws.      

No wonder Brewer declared this action "back door amnesty."  Our back door at the border is wide open.  No wonder Brewer says Obama is politically pandering.  It's a presidential election year where the president has led from behind, rather than working with and through Congress.  No wonder Brewer is empowered to stand up to Obama.  Her constituents have twice voted down driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.      

The Governor is smart to have stressed three things.  One, that no federal program gives undocumented immigrants legal status in Arizona.  Two, Obama's move did not move the ball forward for the undocumented because it did not provide a path to citizenship.  Three, even the Office of Homeland Security has not confirmed this program gives legal status, but rather has called it a temporary measure, in which they will not exercise deportments for two years.  Obama granted the okay to get a work permit, not the okay to be legal.   

For those who have criticized the Governor saying that Arizona has issued driver's licenses and benefits in the past under deferred programs, she responded that those cases were approved through Congress.  With the Dreamers, Obama has not gone through Congress to amend current immigration law, but so ordered this program himself.

This controversy between the state and the federal government will continue on, as both sides appear to be at an impasse.  But chances are good other states will follow Arizona's lead as they respond to this work-permit/deferred deportment action and will also push back, similar to how other states pushed back with their own style of SB 1070 legislation.

The Dreamers and their supporters are dreaming if they believe they are now legal.  The president is playing them as a political football just as he has done with other groups.  November 7 will tell us if he's politically successful.  

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