Driver’s licenses that are issued in five states exclusively to undocumented aliens are invalid in Florida as of July 1, according to a listing published on the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) website on July 5. The list was compiled as a result of the passage of SB 1718, which was filed in the State Legislature by State Sen. Blaise Ingoglia (R-Spring Hill) in March and signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis in May and includes licenses issued by Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont to undocumented aliens.
In announcing the publication of the list, DeSantis said that when it comes to immigration, Florida follows the rule of law.
“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,” he said.
FLHSMC Executive Director Dave Kerner said that the agency and the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) would “strictly” enforce the SB 1718 provision.
“It communicates our state policy that Florida will not provide incentives to undocumented immigrants while reminding criminal cartels and those who are planning to unlawfully cross our national border that Florida should not be their destination of choice,” Kerner said.
The also boosts penalties for human smugglers and those who employ illegal aliens and requires that hospitals that receive Medicaid dollars from the state track how much money is spent on illegal immigrants when they use emergency rooms.
Upon introducing SB 1718, Ingoglia said, “This should be the model for all 50 states going forward to push the federal government into finally doing its job and fixing a crisis they have created.”
In response, Tessa Petit, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Coalition, said the legislation creates a false border between Florida and the rest of the U.S.
“It is meant to criminalize folks still going through the complicated immigration process and their families and friends for visiting the state,” she said.