TALLAHASSEE, FL — FWD.us Florida State Immigration Director Ted Hutchinson issued the following statement today on the introduction of SB 1848. Both introduced at the start of session, SB 1848, and its companion bill HB 1415, would expand access to driver licenses for all Floridians, regardless of their immigration status, opening up new opportunities for more employment, creating new jobs, and making Florida’s roads safer:
“SB 1848 and HB 1415, introduced by Senator Tina Scott Polsky (D-Palm Beach) and State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-Orange), would implement long overdue changes to driver license access in the state of Florida. Ensuring that all Floridians, regardless of immigration status, are required to pass the same testing, and have access to a driver’s license, will create jobs, make our roads safer, increase state revenue and improve life across the state. We applaud Senator Polsky and Representative Guillermo Smith for their leadership and look forward to working with all parties to make driver license access a reality for all Floridians.
“Among other benefits, this legislation would increase immigrants’ economic contributions to the state by allowing undocumented Floridians to travel further to to fill essential roles in Florida’s key industries like agriculture, tourism, and construction. Expanding access to driver licenses for all Floridians is a commonsense way to boost Florida’s small businesses and economy, while providing key support to the immigrant community. These bills would ultimately create more jobs, benefiting everyone and allowing us to better compete with other states that have already implemented similar legislation.
“We urge the Florida legislature to pass these important and smart bills to provide Florida’s businesses and economy with the workforce and tools needed to compete and grow as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and to make all Floridians safer.”