A judge has refused to halt Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's policy denying driver's licenses for young immigrants who have work permits and have avoided deportation under an Obama administration policy.
The decision Thursday by U.S. District Judge David Campbell rejects the argument by immigrant rights advocates who say her policy is unconstitutional because it's trumped by federal law.
Last summer, the Obama administration took steps to shield thousands of young immigrants from deportation.
Arizona's refusal to view those in the deferral program as legal residents has become the most visible challenge to the program the president announced in June.
Brewer's lawyers asked for the lawsuit challenging her policy to be dismissed.
The judge dismissed one claim, but another remains alive.
After the ruling, Gov. Brewer issued the following statement:
"I applaud the federal court for its ruling today denying an injunction sought against the State of Arizona and the Division of Motor Vehicles and dismissing the claim that federal law somehow preempted the State's ability to decide who is issued a driver's license.
"This portion of the ruling is not only a victory for the State of Arizona - it is a victory for states' rights, the rule of law and the bedrock principles that guide our nation's legislative process and the division of power between the federal government and states.
"I am confident that a fully-developed record will further vindicate the State of Arizona. Let me be clear: this fight has never been about the 'Dreamers.' As Governor, I have taken an oath to uphold the laws of Arizona.
"I will continue to vigorously defend the citizens of Arizona and the duly-enacted laws of our State."
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) contributed to this report.
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