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Dreamers receive driver's license test tips after ruling

A Dreamer poses inside of a fake Arizona driver's license. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- Young immigrants known as Dreamers received tips on how to pass the Arizona driver's license test Wednesday.

Dreamers may soon be able to obtain their own driver's license after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Gov. Jan Brewer's controversial decision to deny driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants who were granted work permits under President Barack Obama's deferred action program.

"Her practices were unconstitutional," said Dulce Matuz, president of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition. "Her practices are discriminating. You cannot treat individuals differently."

Matuz hopes the ruling will help Brewer change.

"She has the opportunity to change her legacy of hate to make it a legacy of love and open the doors of MVD (to Dreamers) today. We don't have to wait. She can open the doors of the MVD today."

One Dreamer who is anxiously awaiting his chance to get a driver's license is 20-year-old Jorge Martinez. He has lived in America since he was brought here at age 5. He currently works as a night security guard at Amazon and has to ride the bus to get to and from work. His dream is to finish college and eventually become a police officer.

Martinez said having a driver's license would make things better for him.

"I can go to school," he said. "I can go to work. I don't have to worry about anything. I'm excited!"

Brewer has until July 21 to appeal the court's decision.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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