Skip to comments.FR Exclusive: Jeb answers questions about his support of drivers licenses for undocumented workers
Posted on 04/06/2004 6:58:21 PM PDT by summer
Note to FR, from summer:
FYI -- I am posting here below: (1) an email I sent to Gov Bush today, (2) his email response to me, and (3) another email response he directed to me, and you, from his office.
As most people here know (because I wrote about it at length on FR), I previously had a long dialogue with Gov Bush about education, via email. And, at times, I have emailed him about issues of concern to people on FR.
Consequently, this is another exclusive for you.
Email #1, from me to Gov Bush, today:
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 3:11 PM
To: Jeb Bush
Subject: FR person's fax to you
FR Person's fax to you
Gov Bush, I'm sending a copy of this to you, as suggested in the headline, so that if you want to respond online, to the people reading it, let me know and I will post it for you. [summer]
Email #2, from Gov Bush to me, in response to above:
----- Original Message -----
From: Jeb Bush
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 6:54 PM
Subject: RE: FR person's fax to you
[summer], I will get [my office] to respond to you.
Email #3, directed by Gov Bush to me and you, from his office, to all here:
----- Original Message -----
From: [Gov Bush's office]
To: 'Jeb Bush'; [summer]
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 7:25 PM
Subject: RE: FR person's fax to you
I hope the below Q&A is helpful. Please let me know if you need anything else.
[Gov Bush's office]
Florida Safe Driving Act
 Why give driver licenses to undocumented aliens?
Florida has no power over immigration and naturalization issues, but it does have a duty to protect the safety of its citizens. Allowing Floridas more than 400,000 illegal aliens to obtain a driver license under very strict conditions will increase safety on our roads and highways. It will boost compliance with Floridas auto registration and insurance laws.
Also, a separate provision in the bill makes it easier for people with visas to renew their Florida driver licenses. Many individuals from outside the country visit Florida annually for an extended period of time. The new law allows them to renew their licenses every two years, rather than having it automatically expire every time they leave the country.
Why wouldnt the state just deport the aliens once they have verified their identity?
Under Federal law, no state has the power to deport anyone; it is exclusively the domain of the Federal government.
What does the bill require?
This bill creates some of the highest verification standards in the country. It has more than 15 requirements for approval, and it requires the consulates to provide the applicants documentation to the state of Florida.
Aliens would be required to:
Ø show an identification card with digital image that has been produced with standards that would prevent counterfeiting;
Ø provide a second form of identification;
Ø submit fingerprints to the state; and
Ø agree to a criminal background check from their country of origin, the state of Florida and the United States.
The bill creates a mechanism for Florida to work with foreign consulates to approve a stringent means by which to verify the aliens identity and ensure the consulate is not issuing a duplicate ID. Any consulate that cannot meet these verification standards will not be able to participate in the program.
Among the requirements consulates must show:
Ø documentation that the applicant has not been convicted, or is wanted of a crime equal to a felony in his home country;
Ø a certified copy of the applicants official driving record from home country;
Ø certification that the form of identification is legitimate;
Ø certification that the underlying documents used to issue identification are legitimate; and
Ø certification that the home country has security system in place to prevent multiple issuance of identification cards to the same individual.
 Who does this bill not apply to?
Aliens from countries on the U.S. State Departments list of state sponsors of terrorism are prohibited from applying, as are those who are subject to an order of deportation. Felons cannot apply nor can aliens who cannot establish presence in the state for at least six months in the past five years.
 How does this differ from California law?
First, California law did not exclude applicants from the list of countries maintained by the U.S. Department of State as state sponsors of terrorism. In addition, California did not require state and national criminal background checks, nor did it provide procedures in conjunction with foreign consulates to verify identity and criminal backgrounds with an applicants home country.
 Where will the licenses be valid?
The licenses are valid in Florida only, for two years. They will have a distinct look from standard driver licenses.
How will the bill be implemented?
Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will be responsible for adopting stringent procedures and coordinating with the consulates to ensure verifications of identity and background history of aliens. Consulates will have to provide certifications of the processes they have in place to establish identity of their citizens who apply. If a consulate does not meet these standards, their citizens will be prohibited from applying.
What are the benefits of issuing the licenses?
First and foremost, this bill promotes safety by requiring that aliens pass driving tests before they get on the road. It will also boost compliance with Floridas auto registration and insurance laws. Increasing the number of insured drivers is an enormous benefit to all on the road. Currently, a licensed driver who gets into an auto accident with an unlicensed alien has no means to recover damages against the uninsured alien.
There are also law enforcement benefits; a database of licensed drivers helps law enforcement verify the identity of a driver who is pulled over. Unlicensed, undocumented aliens currently are not part of this database.
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