Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday ordered state agencies to deny driver's licenses and other public benefits to young illegal immigrants who obtain work authorizations under a new Obama administration policy.
After the order was issued, supporters of the program and the DREAM Act took to the streets of Phoenix in protest. Video from Air15 showed the protesters carrying signs and walking down Central Avenue toward the State Capitol.
In an executive order, Brewer said she was reaffirming the intent of current Arizona law denying taxpayer-funded public benefits and state identification to illegal immigrants.
Young illegal immigrants around the nation on Wednesday began the process of applying for federal work permits under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The federal policy defers deportations for that group if they meet certain criteria, including arrival in the United States before they turned 16 and no convictions for certain crimes.
After President Barack Obama announced the policy change in June, Brewer labeled it "backdoor amnesty" and political pandering by the Democratic president.
Arizona has been in the vanguard of states enacting laws against illegal immigration.
The U.S. Supreme Court in June overturned parts of the Arizona enforcement law known as SB1070 but ruled that a key provision on requiring police to ask people about their immigration status under certain circumstances can be implemented.
The Obama administration challenged that law in 2010 after Brewer signed it into law.
In the past decade, Arizona voters twice approved laws denying publicly funded services, such as in-state resident university tuition rates, to illegal immigrants unless mandated by the federal government.
Brewer's order said the policy's federal paperwork doesn't confer lawful status on illegal immigrants and won't entitle them to Arizona public benefits.