Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) on Tuesday vetoed a bill that would have required Florida hand out driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, a sign he is taking a stand against the left in favor of conservatism.
“Florida is home to immigrants of many nationalities, who add to the cultural fabric of our great state, and whose productivity and hard work have contributed to our economic turnaround,” Scott said in his official letter to Florida Secretary of State Kenneth Detzner announcing the veto. “Still, our nation struggles with immigration issues every day, as Americans seek to reconcile the fact that at one point our families were immigrants who came, as many do today, to work and live the American dream with the fact that the federal government has failed at enforcing the nation’s laws on this topic.”
Scott went on to detail the inconsistencies of immigration policy coming out of Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security and President Barack Obama’s administration at large.
“Despite the federal government’s inability to enforce the nation’s current immigration laws or to find common ground on how to change them, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced in a June 2012 memo the immediate establishment of a ‘Deferred Action Process for Childhood Arrivals,'” Scott wrote. “Through this process DHS provides that a young person illegally brought to the United States as a child will not be subject to removal if the individual meets certain criteria.”
“Qualifying for deferred action status does not confer substantive rights or lawful status upon an individual; it does not create a pathway to a green card or citizenship; nor does it extend to any family members of the person granted the status either,” he explained. “Deferred action status is simply a policy of the Obama Administration, absent Congressional direction, designed to dictate removal action decisions using DHS agency discretion. It was never passed by Congress, nor is it a promulgated rule.”
The institutional left and Florida Democrats are furious that Scott would make such a move. Democrat state Sen. Darren Soto called Scott’s veto an “anti-Hispanic bomb.”
“Make no mistake about it: This will be an anti-Hispanic bomb if he vetoes this bill,” Soto, a sponsor of the legislation, said before Scott officially vetoed the bill according to the National Journal. “The vast majority of my peers understand we need to encourage immigrants to become working members of our society. It makes no sense that the Scott administration would veto something it’s already doing.”
The Florida House Democrat who also sponsored the bill, Rep. Randolph Bracy, tried to argue Scott’s veto foils plans to move the national Republican party as a whole toward amnesty. “I thought the party was moving in that direction and was behind this bill, and then the governor just comes out of nowhere and does this,” Bracy said according to National Journal. “Republicans have been talking as a party about Hispanic outreach, and this was only a small step.”