Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 043478
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File Number: 043478 File Type: Resolution Status: Before the Board
Version: 0 Reference: Control: County Commission
File Name: DRIVERS LICENSES FOR IMMIGRANTS Introduced: 12/16/2004
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action:
Agenda Date: 2/1/2005 Agenda Item Number: 10A2
Notes: SEE 050399 FOR FINAL VERSION AS ADOPTED Title: RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO ENACT LEGISLATION PROVIDING GREATER ACCESS TO IMMIGRANTS WISHING TO OBTAIN FLORIDA DRIVER'S LICENSES
Indexes: IMMIGRATION
  LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE
Sponsors: Katy Sorenson, Prime Sponsor
  Bruno A. Barreiro, Co-Sponsor
  Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 2/1/2005 10A2 Amended
REPORT: See agenda item 10A2 AMENDED; Legislative File No. 050399.

Community Outreach, Safety & Healthcare Admin Cmte 1/12/2005 2D Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation P
REPORT: Commissioner Barreiro requested that he be listed as a cosponsor for the foregoing proposed resolution. Hearing no objection, the Committee proceeded to vote on the foregoing proposed resolution as presented. In response to comments by Commissioner Carey-Shuler pertaining to immigrants with green cards or illegal immigrants, Assistant County Attorney Eugene Shy stated the resolution specifically referred to undocumented immigrants. Following discussion among members of the Committee regarding the status of federal immigration legislation to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a Florida driver’s license, Assistant County Attorney Shy stated that the federal legislation if approved would supersede any state legislation. Commissioner Diaz requested that he be listed as a cosponsor for the foregoing proposed resolution. In response to Commissioner Carey-Shuler comments pertaining to the Patriot Act that specifically addressed undocumented aliens, Assistant County Attorney Eugene Shy stated that he would provide her with a response following consultation with the Assistant County Attorney Ronald J. Bernstein, who prepared the resolution. Commissioner Sosa, as Chair of the COSHAC, asked that committee members be provided with the criteria required for Miami-Dade County residents to register to vote. She requested this information be submitted to the County Commission for consideration at the February 1, 2005, BCC meeting. Mr. Jonathan Freed, We Care South Dade, 1750 NW 9 Court, appeared before the Committee, to discuss an effort to not allow immigrants who are not United States citizens to obtain a Florida driver’s license.

County Attorney 12/16/2004 Referred Community Outreach, Safety & Healthcare Admin Cmte 1/12/2005

County Attorney 12/16/2004 Assigned Ronald J. Bernstein 12/16/2004

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE TO ENACT LEGISLATION PROVIDING GREATER ACCESS TO IMMIGRANTS WISHING TO OBTAIN FLORIDA DRIVER'S LICENSES

BODY
WHEREAS, many immigrant families come to Miami-Dade County in search of a better life, often fleeing abusive, life-threatening situations in their home countries in search of refuge and the American Dream; and
WHEREAS, immigrants play an integral role in the state and local economy, particularly in such industries as agriculture, tourism and trade, which generate billions of tax dollars and are heavily fueled by the ingenuity of immigrant entrepreneurs and by the labor of immigrant workers; and
WHEREAS, the United States 2000 Census reports that Miami-Dade County's population is over 50% foreign-born; and
WHEREAS, 85% of immigrant families with children contain some family members who are citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents, while other family members may be undocumented; and
WHEREAS, immigration policies are both complicated and selective and many undocumented immigrants do not immediately qualify for an immigration status; and
WHEREAS, a significant percentage of the immigrant population that contributes to our community is undocumented; and
WHEREAS, Florida's driver's license policy restricts access to driver's licenses to persons based on their federal immigration status; and
WHEREAS, without legal transportation options, immigrants often cannot fully participate in activities of daily living like other county residents, and are impeded in such daily activities as taking their children to school, going to work, and attending medical appointments; and
WHEREAS, limiting access to driver's licenses results in more unlicensed, untrained and uninsured drivers on our roads, severely endangering public safety and having an adverse affect on accident frequency and insurance rates for all drivers; and
WHEREAS, law enforcement is hindered when immigrants do not have valid identification, making people harder to identify by police and fire personnel; and
WHEREAS, treating people as terror suspects solely based on their federal immigration status encourages discrimination and leads to less community cooperation with law enforcement; and
WHEREAS, unlicensed drivers involved in accidents are more likely to flee the scene of an accident; and
WHEREAS, states such as New Mexico and Utah have realized the benefits to public safety of licensing all potential drivers by permitting the use of alternative means of identification and verification to qualify resident immigrant drivers to test for and obtain driver's licenses, without regard to their federal immigration status; and
WHEREAS, meaningful and useful driver's license reform would increase the percentage of county residents who are properly licensed, trained and insured, and increase public safety by maximizing the number of Florida residents with valid official identification; and
WHEREAS, State Senator Rodolfo García and State Representative Gustavo Barreiro plan to introduce legislation during the 2005 Florida Legislative Session that would allow access to driver's licenses in Florida for many undocumented immigrants,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that:
Section 1. This Board supports legislation that would improve access to driver's licenses for immigrants.
Section 2. The Clerk of the Board is directed to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the Chair and members of the Miami-Dade County State Legislative Delegation. Section 3. The Office of Intergovernmental Affairs is directed to include this issue in the County's 2005 state legislative package.



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