Florida Politicians Vote Against Drivers License Bill – We Continue Fighting Back!

– Alicia Gazga


Raíces in Tampa has struggled the past two years for all undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses in Florida; we had meetings with members of the city council of the City of Tampa. Then got together with five of the seven members who seemed very supportive of the idea of ​​giving licenses to the undocumented, they privately, told us they would sign our resolution showing their support. When we finally attended a City Council Meeting and put our drivers license resolution up to a vote, the City Council acted as if Raíces in Tampa did not know we were talking, typical politicians! They lied by saying they had never seen our resolution and when confronted with having them show support – they backed out. As Raíces in Tampa we understand how City Council will take to opportunism and be against the people of their own city (undocumented or not).

As recently as April 2015, City Council and Tampa City Mayor Bob Buckhorn publicly SIGNED their support in favor of DAPA (the November 2014 executive action of the President)! Time and time again, City Council members like Charlie Miranda have said that City Council cannot and would not support anything outside of the “power of City Council” – giving the excuse that a State of Florida matter was outside of their jurisdiction and even further, that licenses should be attacked through a national angle. But with the recent DAPA support they both signed, they very publicly acknowledge that they INDEED DO have the ability to sign their support in areas outside of the City of Tampa. Raíces in Tampa agrees that supporting DACA and DAPA is a great step for Tampa and Florida, but why are Bob Buckhorn and City Council remaining silent and not supportive of licenses? Their logic makes no sense and their behavior contradicts their own excuses! Raíces in Tampa demands they both do something locally, NOT give us more excuses.

In Tallahassee last week politicians voted against the SB300 bill that would give driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants in Florida, and while some say the law was for “safer roads”, Raíces in Tampa continues in the overall struggle for equality! We demand drivers licenses for all of the undocumented immigrants in Florida! The problem is not unsafe roads, we the undocumented, are not the ones who make roads unsafe! The government and politicians can not cover the sun with a finger and attempt to make us think we cannot see through their lies and excuses. Drivers licenses are a basic necessity; to go to work with our heads held high, having an ID to say ‘I am valid’, take our children to school, go to church, all without fear! We demand liberation and equality, not repression and deportations.

SB300 died this year but that does not mean Raíces in Tampa will stop fighting, we will continue pressuring the City of Tampa to support us and the undocumented, we will continue collecting signatures and seeking support from our city. We will continue pressuring Mayor Bob Buckhorn. We want legalization for all and drivers licenses in the state of Florida. Please follow us as we plan our next steps for licenses. Yes we can!

Sign our petition!

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One thought on “Florida Politicians Vote Against Drivers License Bill – We Continue Fighting Back!

  1. redneck

    I caught part of your 27 April talk on WMNF radio. While I disagree with part of what little I heard, the licenses make good business sense to this employer. People that are willing and able to do the work are at a disadvantage and take chances just to get there while some citizens that are unwilling but able don’t bother.

    The guy that called in complaining about foreigners taking the jobs while citizens were unemployed should try to hire those citizens to do real work. A very high percentage of the unemployed are that way for a reason. The real problems will not be addressed with scapegoats. He should also be asked why black contractors also preferentially hire Hispanic workers.

    A couple of things I strongly disagree with that I heard on your talk. Unions try to make everybody equal in pay when some are worth far more and some far less than whatever standard is set. My guys are from Mexico and earn considerably more than the local average by natural citizens. I’m not generous, I pay it because that’s what it takes to retain good people. Unionize and I would lose the good people to employers that were not restricted by some contract and be left with the ones that were less productive.

    The other thing I have a problem with is the praise for the government systems of Venezuela and Cuba. The governments that are supposedly trying to help the people are usually the ones that have denied people the freedom to move ahead. Remove the roadblocks (like driver licence) and ambitious people will make their own opportunities. The US government is already trying and failing to do things for people that they should be doing for themselves. Going farther in that direction as the progressive governments do, and there will be an increasing number of people that need the help.

    You want more equality, don’t blow the top off the mountain, build roads out of the swamp.

    I want this country, and the people in it to prosper by building ourselves up, and not by holding others down. I have talked to Mexican people that walked across a desert for three days and risked death by dehydration with some of the group not making it. They came here to build a better life for themselves and their descendants by honest effort. That makes them American by choice. America is a mindset and they have demonstrated that they have it.

    I will leave it at that for now as I don’t know your comment policy on this first visit to your site. Moderate the comment and email me if I am too far out of line.

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