While the focus in immigration news is currently with the Gang of Eight amnesty bill in Washington, the state legislature in Florida recently killed seven bills related to immigration issues when they adjourned on May 2. All of the bills would have provided a benefit to illegal aliens such as protection against ICE detainers, in-state tuition, welfare benefits, and driver’s licenses.
The Florida Trust Act (Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools) would have prevented local officials from complying with ICE detainers unless the person had been convicted of or was charged with a serious offense. House Bill 767 and its identical companion bill, Senate Bill 730 died in their respective Criminal Justice Committees.
The Florida DREAM Act, would have provided in-state tuition to illegal aliens who had (1) attended school in Florida for three years, (2) received a Florida high school diploma or GED, (3) registered at a state university or Florida College System institution, and (4) filed an affidavit with the state university or college stating that he/she has filed an application to legalize his/her immigration status or will do so as soon as eligible to do so. House Bill 1113 died in the House Higher education and Workforce Subcommittee, and its identical companion bill, Senate Bill 624, died in the Senate Education Committee.
Welfare for Illegal Alien Children
Senate Bill 704 and its identical companion bill, House Bill 4023, would have made illegal alien children eligible for the state’s welfare program, Kidcare. Current law restricts the Kidcare program to “qualified aliens” as defined by federal law to exclude illegal aliens. SB 704 died in the Senate Health Policy Committee and HB 4023 died in the House Healthy Families Subcommittee.
Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Aliens
Senate Bill 1304 would have made an illegal alien eligible for Florida driver’s license by expanding acceptable proof of identity to include (1) a foreign passport from the applicant’s country of citizenship or (2) a consular ID card. SB 1304 died in the Transportation Committee.