On Wednesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the state would no longer recognize certain out-of-state driver licenses issued to illegal immigrants, as part of legislation passed earlier this year. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has released a list of out-of-state license classes that are now considered invalid in Florida.
The list specifically targets licenses issued to illegal immigrants in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It does not apply to regular driver licenses but focuses on licenses with certain limitations, such as those stating they are “not for federal identification,” those that are not REAL ID compliant, or those categorized as “limited purpose.”
These targeted states are among those that allow undocumented individuals to obtain some form of identification and a license to drive. The recent action by Governor DeSantis is in response to SB 1718, a comprehensive anti-illegal immigration bill signed earlier this year, which includes provisions prohibiting licenses for illegal immigrants and deeming licenses distributed exclusively to them as illegal.
Governor DeSantis emphasized the rationale behind the decision, stating, “Someone who is in our country illegally and has violated our laws should not possess a government-issued ID which allows them access to state-funded services and other privileges afforded to lawful residents.”
The governor further expressed his commitment to upholding the rule of law and protecting Florida’s citizens, state, and country. He criticized the Biden administration for neglecting its responsibilities to secure the border, affirming that Florida will take decisive action to address the issue, even if the federal government fails to do so.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles stated that the list of invalid licenses may be subject to change as license issuance requirements evolve in other states. The agency, under the leadership of Executive Director Dave Kerner, pledged to strictly enforce the legislation, emphasizing the goal of enhancing homeland security and curbing criminal activity.
Governor DeSantis has been consistently focused on combating illegal immigration and securing the nation’s borders. His latest move aligns with his efforts to address this issue, as he vies for the Republican presidential nomination. While trailing behind former President Donald Trump in the current race, DeSantis has demonstrated a commitment to immigration-related matters and has taken actions such as relocating migrants to different states and deploying law enforcement resources to the border in response to requests for assistance from other governors.
As part of his campaign, DeSantis recently unveiled a comprehensive border security plan, emphasizing his determination to “stop the invasion” and holding the Biden administration accountable for the ongoing migrant crisis. He has made it clear that securing the border will be a top priority from day one if he is elected as president.