Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have allowed the issuance of driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants accepted into the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The Republican governor vetoed HB 235, which passed the Florida House by a vote of 115-2 and won unanimous approval in the state Senate.
Republicans have majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.
"Although the Legislature may have been well intentioned in seeking to expedite the process to obtain a temporary driver license, it should not have been done by relying on a federal government policy adopted without legal basis," Scott said in a communique released on Wednesday.
The executive director of the ACLU of Florida, Howard Simon, harshly criticized the governor for "politicizing" a controversial issue approved by the legislature "with almost unanimous support," at a time when the majority of Americans support "common sense immigration reform."
Simon noted, however, that although the bill was vetoed, Deferred Action recipients will be able to acquire driver's licenses from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles under the prevailing state law. EFE