A federal appellate court on Thursday asked the lawyers representing Arizona flat out whether the state was motivated by racism in its refusal to give driver’s licenses and ID cards to young, undocumented immigrants, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Judge Harry Pregerson, who was appointed to the 9th Circuit Court in 1979 by President Carter, asked the Arizona legal team if there was any reason to deny licenses to DREAMers beyond racism.
“Does it come down to racism? Does it come down to discrimination against these people? What else does it come down to?” he asked.
In reply, Arizona Assistant Attorney General Dominic Draye replied. “Judge, I wish you wouldn’t say things like that.”
Following a lower court ruling, Arizona started issuing licenses and ID cards in February for the immigrants who qualified for the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
“They’re part of our culture, they’ve gone to our schools, they’ve made contributions,” Pregerson said on Thursday.
Photo: Judge Harry Pregerson of the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals swears in Latina actress, singer and former Miss Venezuela, Maria Conchita Alonso, center, to become a U.S. citizen at the Beverly Hills home of Philanthropist, Arthur Kasse, right Saturday August 18, 2007. (AP PhotoEarl Gibson III )