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Florida governor vetoes 'Dream Act' driver's license bill

  |   June 5, 2013 at 11:20 AM
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla., June 5 (UPI) -- The governor of Florida has vetoed a "well-intentioned" bill that would have allowed children of undocumented immigrants to get temporary drivers' licenses.

The "Dream Act Driver License" bill had passed through both chambers of the Legislature with only two dissenting votes, The Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times reported Tuesday.

The bill used as its foundation a 2012 policy of the Obama administration that suspended for two years deportation actions against children illegally brought to the United States by their parents.

Gov. Rick Scott said lawmakers were "well-intentioned" in approving the measure, but that "it should not have been done by relying on a federal government policy adopted without legal basis."

Scott said the Obama policy did not have the force of law, noting that Florida law already allows non-citizens with federal work permits to get temporary drivers licenses.

Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, called the governor's veto "simply unconscionable," adding that Scott had "missed an opportunity."

Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte, a former Florida state legislator, said the lack of citizenship does not prevent anyone from practicing any profession regulated by the state.

"Somebody in Florida who is not yet a citizen can get a doctor's license but not a driver's license," he said. "How absurd can we be?"

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