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ACLU Responds to Scott Veto of Drivers’ Licenses for DREAMers

Letter to DHSMV explains that those who would have benefited from bill should still receive licenses

MIAMI - Today, the ACLU of Florida sent a letter to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in response to Gov. Rick Scott’s veto of HB 235. The bill, known as the “Dream Act Driver License” Law, would have provided drivers’ licenses to young people covered by the 2012 “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” immigration policy ordered by Pres. Barack Obama. HB 235 passed the Florida House of Representatives by a vote of 115-2 and passed the Florida Senate unanimously.

The following is a statement on the veto from Howard Simon, Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida:

“With the veto of HB 235, Governor Scott sends a message that he’s willing to play politics with the lives of young people. He is politicizing what was a non-controversial issue that passed the legislature with near-unanimous support. At a time when a majority of Americans support common-sense immigration reform and our elected leaders are finally working to fix our broken immigration system, the Governor’s veto is a step backwards. It creates a needless stumbling block for young people who have grown up in our communities and are aspiring citizens.

“It is important for DREAMers who will be impacted by the Governor’s decision to know that, although the bill he vetoed would have made it quicker, they should still be able to obtain a driver’s license. Under existing state law, the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles has already made it a policy to provide young people who qualify for Deferred Action with temporary drivers’ licenses if they have employment authorization from the federal government. The ACLU of Florida sent a letter to the Department of Motor Vehicles today explaining that Tuesday’s veto should have no impact on that policy.

“The federal government has recognized that these young people are legally able to work and contribute to our economy. Governor Scott’s politically-motivated veto makes no sense; while he acknowledges that DREAMers will be able to work, this veto is a foolish attempt to make it more difficult for them to drive to their jobs.”

A copy of the letter sent to the DHSMV is available here:


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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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