Arizona to appeal case over denying licenses to immigrants

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona is appealing a ruling that shelved its policy of denying driver's licenses to young immigrants protected from deportation by the Obama administration.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich's office says Friday that it will appeal an order barring the state policy.

About 20,000 young immigrants in Arizona are protected from deportation under a 2012 program by the Obama administration.

The immigrants started getting licenses two months ago.

The denials were ordered by then-Gov. Jan Brewer, who cited a desire to reduce the risk of licenses being used to improperly access public benefits.

Last summer, an appeals court concluded there was no legitimate state interest in treating the immigrants differently from other noncitizens who could apply for licenses.

Instead, the court suggested Brewer's policy was intended to express hostility toward the immigrants.