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Gov. Rick Scott vetoes immigrant driver license bill

Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday vetoed a bill that would have allowed children of immigrants who are not U.S. citizens to use a new federal form to get temporary Florida driver licenses. Scott said he vetoed HB 235 because it would have benefited people who are covered by a change in federal policy instituted by President Barack Obama last year that wasn't approved by Congress.

Under the policy known as "Deferred Action Process for Childhood Arrivals," young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children are not subject to removal if they meet certain criteria.

"Deferred action status is simply a policy of the Obama administration absent Congressional direction, designed to dictate removal action decisions using DHS (Department of Homeland Security) agency discretion," Scott wrote in a veto message. "It was never passed by Congress, nor is it a promulgated rule."

The five-page bill passed the Senate 36-0 and the House 115-2; the lone dissenters were Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, and John Tobia, R-Melbourne Beach. Tobia voted against dozens of bills in the latter part of the decision as an act of protest.

Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, sponsor of the bill in the Senate, called Scott's action "unconscionable," and predicted that Scott's veto will seriously hurt his standing with Hispanic voters going into the 2014 election. "This was a chance for him to help out a lot of Hispanics in our state as well as people of Creole descent," Soto said. "It strikes me as very political."

The Florida Democratic Party excoriated the Republican governor's action. "Rick Scott continues to alienate and discriminate against thousands of undocumented immigrants. Instead of joining the legislature's near-unanmous consensus around HB 235, Governor Scott imposed his rigid ideology on Floridians — to the detriment of the young immigrants who are Florida's future," said party spokesman Joshua Karp. "This measure would have improved the everyday lives of thousands of undocumented immigrants. With a driver's license, undocumented young people can drive to school or their jobs without the threat of being thrown into jail or deported."

-- Steve Bousquet


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With most of the legislature voting for the bill, why don't they just override the veto??.....they sure did it for Crist's vetoes.


Que le importa si el tiene un jet privado.

J. Morgan

Wow now all of a sudden Scott is trying to tell us he is tough on illegals when he ran from the issue the past 18 months. Sorry Governor you are becoming a joke and no one believes you.


Enjoy your last year! Def. Adios Scott.....


Um ... last I checked, under the federal constitution, who gets to have a driver's license is a state decision. The legislature, with its large Republican majorities, decided these kids could have one. What the hell is Gov. Scott doing?

Let's see now ... the Gov couldn't persuade the Legislature to agree with Obama via Obamacare to use federal taxpayer money to expand medicaid to more poor folks, but he disagrees with the Legislature on letting these kids, whose parents dragged them here, to pay for their own driver licenses. What absurdly inconsistent and illogical idiocy is this? Lunacy!

Dick Scott

Someone hand him a minority baby and watch him react.


The Governor made the right call, and ultimately people will appreciate him standing up for the rule of law. The failure of the federal government to pass immigration reform is the problem, not Rick Scott. Blame them. They have been the ones giving lip service to protecting the southern borders from an invasion of illegals the last 30 years. Why do we even have immigration laws if they can be just ignored all the time?


Rick Scott wasn't polling well with Hispanics. He can't get their vote regardless so he votes against them.


In Florida, illegal immigrants are already allowed to receive a drivers license if they provide work visa documentation.


Someone told me they passed a bill like this in California and guess what Rick those who already have a work permit via DACA can still obtain a DL. Since they are considered non-U.S. Citizens all they have to do is show their work permit, SS card, and proofs of residence. You vetoing that bill does nothing.


Vetoing a law that maybe is not needed is not how an very low polling Governor wins reelection ... no matter how many of his benighted and beguiled acolytes say: "It doesn't matter, so veto it."

Winning politics is a calculus of addition not subtraction.

Jimmy Miller

I'm just shocked that this Voldemort lookalike is still allowed to roam Florida a free man. He's amazingly and blatantly crooked. When will the indictments over the voter suppression happen?


that matters to him. He is licensed to drive, had to be Republican. And Florida is the baddest state

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