Central Florida’s Democratic state legislative delegation blasted Gov. Rick Scott Wednesday for vetoing a bill intended to make it easier for children of undocumented immigrants to obtain a Florida driver’s license – even though the effect of the veto is likely to be more symbolic than real.
On Tuesday, Scott vetoed HB 235, which had been approved 115-2 in the Florida House and unanimously in the Florida Senate. It would have required the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to allow people to use federal “deferments” of their immigration status, provided under an executive order issued last year by President Barack Obama, as proof of legal status to qualify for driver’s licenses.
Obama’s order offers deferments to children of undocumented immigrants – allowing them to work legally and live in the open — provided they were brought to the U.S. at very young ages and have done nothing wrong. The young adults were dubbed “dreamers” after the DREAM Act, which would have legalized them but failed in Congress several years ago.
But Scott’s veto is not likely to have any practical effect, according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
That’s because Florida has been accepting — and still will accept — Social Security cards and “unexpired employment authorizations” as proof of legal status, said department Communications Director Leslie Palmer.