Orlando State Senator Victor Torres, a Democrat, filed Senate Bill 866 to provide driver licenses and community identification cards for immigrants, homeless and others, joining Homestead State Representative Kevin Chambliss who filed House Bill 1639 – Driver Licenses and Identification Cards.
The Democratic officials say “community IDs are an important step toward building more inclusive and equitable communities.” They argue it provides a way for all residents to participate fully in civic life, regardless of their background or circumstances. In addition, community IDs can potentially help build trust between law enforcement and community members, as they provide a way for individuals to identify themselves without fear of discrimination or harassment.
That’s why Democrats think it makes them a valuable tool for individuals who may have difficulty obtaining other forms of identification, such as immigrants and homeless individuals.
“These Community IDs will provide a sense of belonging and identity for individuals who may feel excluded from mainstream society, while also promoting access to essential services such as healthcare, education, and financial services,” said Senator Torres. ?”This is a no-brainer that allows willing individuals to safely contribute and participate in our society.”
A summary of the bill from Senator Torres, Driver Licenses and Identification Cards, says: Requiring proof of a specified identification number for certain applicants for a driver license; authorizing additional specified documents issued by foreign governments to satisfy proof-of-identity requirements; prohibiting the department from waiving certain tests for applicants who provide proof of identity using specified foreign documents; prohibiting the department from disclosing or making accessible certain photographs and related information to any agency that primarily enforces immigration law or to any employee or agent of such agency, etc.
“We are a State full of immigrants. They are our neighbors, co-worker, and our family members,” said Representative Chambliss. “They are a part of what makes Florida so great. We live, work, and play in the same communities. That is why this bill is so important. An official ID not only creates a sense of belonging, but it also allows them to interact in personal and business transactions that they otherwise would not be able to do. It’s important that we acknowledge that our immigrant neighbors are valuable members of our community, and, here, they are welcome.”
The Florida legislation would also appear to delete a provision authorizing applications to include fingerprints and other unique biometric means of identity.
In the Republican-dominated legislature, it’s interesting that the Orlando Democrat thinks it could pass, or that Governor Ron DeSantis would sign such a bill with a possible presidential campaign ahead. View Senate Bill 866 and House Bill 1639 for more information.
Meanwhile, Governor DeSantis announced since August 21, 2022, nearly 11,000 migrants have been repatriated after attempting to enter Florida illegally.