Legislature Ponders if Illegal Immigrants in Florida Should Be Eligible for Drivers Licenses

A proposed bill in the Florida Legislature would allow people who entered the U.S. illegally to be eligible to get a drivers licenses despite their status.

State Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, introduced the bill which let illegal immigrants use documents like an unexpired foreign passport or a birth certificate from another nation to get a drivers license.

Eskamani said her bill “would help build trust for those who are considered marginalized in the state and said it would make roads safer.”

Other Democrats in the Legislature support the bill, including state Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, D-Miami.

“It doesn’t matter your immigration status,” Rodriguez said. “If you are on the roads, you should have access to a driver’s test and the ability to get car insurance.”

 Immigration attorney Indera Demine is also on board with the proposal.

“Illegal immigrants are already here,” Demine said. “They are going to drive anyway to provide for their families so why not make the roads safer?”

Groups backing the proposal, including the Florida Immigrant Coalition, claim that if illegal immigrants were able to obtain drivers licenses, Florida drivers would see lower insurance premiums and safer roads.

The Florida Immigration Coalition insisted there would be “a potential increase of $4 million in state revenue if 75 percent of Floridians currently denied licenses due to their immigration status were able to receive a driver’s license.”

But not everybody is buying into that claim. Lawyer and legal commentator Ron Davis asks where are the proponents getting their facts.

“Just because you get a drivers license and insurance doesn’t make you a safer driver,” Davis told Florida Daily.

Davis also said there is no evidence that making illegal immigrants get car insurance would cause premiums to decline for other Florida drivers.

“It’s the same argument we have heard in the past from those stating that tort reform would cause health care premiums to decrease,” said Davis.

Under Florida law, you must prove you are a U.S. citizen or a resident alien to be legally allowed to drive in the state.

With the GOP in control of both chambers, Eskamani’s bill has not been heard by a single committee in the Florida House or the state Senate.

 

Contact Ed at Ed.Dean@FloridaDaily.com.

12 COMMENTS

  1. No Next thing they’ll use it to vote Sick of this crap. They need to immigrate to this country and follow our laws.

  2. No. They are here illegally. They should go home and come back in legally. What is being proposed is giving drivers’ licenses to people committing a crime. They need to respect our country and its laws. So if they really want to live here, do it the right way.

  3. Hopefully this idea would reduce some of the hit and runs crashes. So often drivers flee the scene because they are uninsured or have no valid license, which may be because of their immigration status. Only thing that could be an issue is if the license is marked in a way that identifies the holder as a foreign national, police would automatically ask for papers anytime the driver is stopped or involved in a crash–which leads us back to square one, hit and run because they don’t want to be deported.

  4. I don’t agree. Illegal immigrants are just that illegal. Next step is voting rights. This has to stop. I know that it impacts our insurance laws but there has to be a better way to deal with it.

  5. No! If they are illegal immigrants & asking for anything other than a way home to their own country.
    They should be deported to their country!

  6. Allowing undocumented immigrants the ability to obtain a drivers license has zero connection to any attempt to allow them to vote. You are only trying to pass off your own hateful assumptions as proven facts when that is not the case. Literally none of you would be negatively affected if undocumented immigrants were permitted to obtain a driver’s license.

  7. I think this would be a good thing. Not just for safer roads but also for people who are here legally and are unable to get a driver’s license. Myself personally came to this country legally and is going through the immigration process legally. I have U.S. documents but lack the primary U.S. photo identification needed to get my license. I am currently waiting on it and it’s been 2 years already. this would open the door for me to use my foreign passport and my U.S. SSC to get a license that would change my life drastically. I think a lot of people are not thinking about the people suck in the middle like myself.

  8. I think this bill would be good for the people suck in the middle, who came to this country legally that are going through the immigration process legally and are unable to get their license. Myself included came to this country legally and have U.S. documents. But lack a primary U.S. photo id needed for me to get my license. I am currently waiting on it and it has been 2 years. If this bill is passed it would allow me to use my foreign passport and my United States Social Security Card to get my license. It would drastically change my life. I think the people in the middle get forgotten. But this would help many people like me. who are very much legal in this country.

  9. so we rewarding crime.. Illegal mean something that is illegal is against the law, whereas an unlawful act merely contravenes the rules that apply in a particular context.. I feel this country is going on a route that if we dont play attention all this politicians will sink our country.

  10. State Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez is the Floridian equivalent of Ocasio Cortez. Miami is the home of the worst politicians residing in Florida.

    After being a honorably retired soldier and Democrat since 1984, I refuse to allow these imbeciles to speak for me, nor represent me for a moment more. I changes parties on Feb the 4th, and its the wisest move I’ve made in a long time.

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