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Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants: Flagler Sheriff Says Yes, But Local Opinion Is Divided

| February 26, 2016

undocumented immigrants driver's license

Flagler County Tax Collector Suzanne Johnston, right, seen here speaking with Grace Seay-Peres, is opposed to providing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. (c FlaglerLive)

Speaking to a large group of Flagler County candidates for local elections and business leaders Thursday, Marian Johnson, the senior vice president of political strategy for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, had a surprise: immigration is among the four issues Florida voters cite as their top concerns. Johnson told candidates they should not just be aware of the fact, but be conversant with it and address it on the trail, even in local races.

Immigration is a broad issue, often spoken of more in abstract or general terms than in specifics that tangibly affect local communities. One of those specifics is the question of driver’s licenses: should undocumented immigrants have a right to get them, or not. At the start of 2016 two more states, Delaware and Hawaii, saw recently-passed laws go into effect that allowed undocumented immigrants to obtain legal driver’s licenses.

These documents don’t confer any legal residency status on the immigrants, but serve many purposes, allowing them to have much more freedom and opportunity in searching for employment, providing much greater safety on the roads since all applicants need to pass road safety tests like everyone else do, and serve as an important psychological milestone for adults desperate to be seen as “Americans” like so many native-born people are.

“There needs to be an acceptance factor that we have undocumented aliens in our state, and it would make sense that if they’re here,  we should provide them the right to feel that they’re here,” said Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre, who is strongly in favor of allowing immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, citing safety concerns as his primary reason. “We have a lot of people in Florida driving without a license; to get a license you have to have proper training and pass a test, so you’ll get better drivers.”

The trend toward licenses for immigrants has been picking up speed in the last several years, and the list of states that have passed laws allowing it rebuff any attempt at categorization.

There are small states (Delaware, Vermont) and large states (California, Illinois); red states (Utah, Nevada) and blue states (Maryland, Washington). Some have had Republican governors and a GOP-controlled legislature when the legislation was passed, others were heavily Democratic-controlled.

It would seem that the issue wouldn’t be so polarizing, as politicians on both sides of the aisle have shown support for this.

But in Florida there is scant evidence that the Sunshine State be joining the list of states passing legislation legalizing licenses for immigrants.

“It’s pretty much stalled right now, and has been for some time,” said Michelle Richardson, the director of public policy for the ACLU of Florida. “Things have actually been moving backward on this issue here, and it doesn’t seem like there’s much momentum, given all the anti-immigrant rhetoric in the Presidential race, for anything to change.”

In Flagler County, opinion about the issue among local leaders is split. Manfre pointed out that it’s hard to recoup money in an accident from drivers without a registered vehicle or insurance, and agreed that allowing migrant workers who are undocumented to have licenses would widen their potential employment opportunities.

“A lot of migrants are abused in the job process, simply because they don’t have adequate transportation,” Manfre said. “They’re isolated in certain areas and it’s very difficult to to get a job outside of your very small area.”

Manfre’s support falls in line with law enforcement agencies in other states who have passed this law. According to several national experts interviewed, the backing of state police and sheriff’s agencies has been imperative in convincing legislators to enact driver’s license laws.

However, Manfre said that the Florida Sheriff’s Association had not come out in favor of issuing licenses to undocumented immigrants, and “I really don’t have optimism it’ll get passed anytime soon, in this political environment.”

Rebecca DeLorenzo, the president of the Flagler Chamber of Commerce, said her organization didn’t have an opinion one way or another on the matter, and that it had never come up in meetings.

There are plenty of local officials who oppose any legislation like this. Suzanne Johnston, the county tax collector whose office is in charge of issuing driver’s licenses, said she of course would follow any legislation the state passed, but believes that “if you’re in this country, you should have to be here legally to obtain a driver’s license.”

Mike McElroy is the President of the Ronald Reagan Republican Assemblies of Flagler County, and has some strong feelings on the issue.

michael mcelroy

Michael McElroy is a retired police officer who spent much of his law enforcement career in Ossining, N.Y.,

“My top concern would be a safety issue, and how it might affect terrorism,” McElroy, a retired police officer, said. “You’re rewarding people who have not entered the country legally with the privilege of a driver’s license. I know a lot of states are moving toward this, but the Florida legislature has been conservative

As is often the case here, recent attempts to pass legislation on the issue has been complicated. In 2013, the Florida legislature overwhelmingly passed HB 235, which would’ve been a significant head start on this issue. HB 235 would have given the so-called “Dreamers” or DACA children (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the ability to apply for and receive a drivers license when they were of age.

The bill passed unanimously in the Senate and had only two “no” votes in the House. But Gov. Rick Scott vetoed the bill in June, 2013, saying “nothing would change” if the bill was passed.

Scott was partially correct but partially wrong. As it stands under federal law, “Dreamers” are allowed to apply for driver’s licenses once they receive work permits, which they are generally granted in most circumstances.

However, delays in work permits mean no drivers licenses for Dreamers, so HB 235 would’ve helped the Dreamers legally be allowed to get their licenses without having to wait for a permit.

That veto by Scott only applied to children of undocumented immigrants, which would be a far leap to allowing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants themselves.

FlaglerLive spoke with Gov. Scott deputy press secretary Lauren Schenone to ask about the Governor’s current stance on the issue. After first saying she’d be happy to get back to us with the Governor’s current position, repeated emails and phone calls went un-returned. Given that Scott vetoed a less-controversial bill three years ago, it’s hard to fathom he’d be in favor of a driver’s license for undocumented immigrants bill now, particularly after his recent publicly avowed support for Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner for the presidential nomination who’s made demonizing undocumented immigrants and Muslims a central plank of his platform.

But if other states who are just as conservative if not more conservative than Florida are passing these laws, how are they doing it? Jonathan Blazer is a national ACLU Advisory Counsel, and he’s studied this issue as much as anyone in recent years.

When he looks at states like Nevada, Utah and New Mexico, Blazer sees some common themes. For one, you need backing not just from usual suspects like law enforcement associations and immigration advocacy groups; you need some surprise help sometimes, too. In 2012 in Nevada, a Tea Party group endorsed granting immigrants drivers licenses, and when the state legislature finally passed the law in 2013, four Republicans voted for it, and it was signed by GOP Governor Brian Sandoval.

“You have to get legislators who are willing to break ranks, and look at this issue in a different way,” Blazer said. “Even in states like Illinois, which is a heavy Democratic state, you still needed Republicans to pass their bill (in 2013.)”

Framing the issue economically also is one way to sway legislators; in Nevada the cost of immigrants purchasing driver’s licenses (technically called driver authorization cards in that state) was expected to bring in $3.4 million over the first two years, compared to a $1.6 million cost. Suddenly, cash-poor states with millions of undocumented immigrants could see a bit of a windfall.

Another important factor in the success of these laws has been bringing coalitions together and seeking their input. In Hawaii in 2014, Blazer noted, key police organizations came out against this issue, feeling that the opportunity to commit identity fraud was too high. But after legislators met with law enforcement groups and allayed their concerns, Hawaii law enforcement came out in favor of the bill in 2015, and voila!, it passed.

“I’m sure it will eventually happen in Florida, because we have seen incremental progress,” Blazer said, alluding to Gov. Scott’s 2013 approval of in-state tuition being granted to “Dreamers.” There are some signs of hope.

“But,” Richardson added, “legislators in Florida are not at all interested right now in doing anything to help immigrants.”


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24 Responses for “Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants: Flagler Sheriff Says Yes, But Local Opinion Is Divided”

  1. Truth says:

    Sheriff just made another reason not to re elect him. Myself and every other AMERICAN has to jump through hoops, have all sorts of paperwork, insurance, and things just shy of blood work to get a driver’s license or ID. But now the clowns in charge don’t feel illigals need to do anothing more than walk in say hi I’m Jo Jo Nobody give me a license. Can’t even say how mad this stuff makes me. America is broken and common sense has left the planet. My heart brakes every time I think about what my kids and grandkids might have to deal with as the go through life.

  2. Nancy N. says:

    You left out something…knowingly driving without a license is a FELONY in the state of Florida. So any undocumented immigrant picked up driving can be charged with a felony. Which means two things that are to Gov. Scott’s benefit: first, his private prison buddies that he’s been turning our state’s prisons over to get to line their pockets by locking these people up for a few years at taxpayer expense. Then, when their sentence is up, they get deported because they are undocumented. Double win for ol’ Governor Skeletor. Of course he is in favor of leaving things the way they are.

  3. Lin says:

    Sheriff Manfre wants to confer rights to illegals and use granting of licenses to support illegal immigration. This is contrary to our laws. Illegal means illegal.
    His duty is to enforce the law not make the law.
    We are still a sovereign nation with laws and rights of citizenship -/ so sorry he and the other democrats can’t find a way to secure our future and protect this country instead of defying our laws.

  4. Ken Dodge says:

    “and serve as an important psychological milestone for adults desperate to be seen as “Americans” like so many native-born people are.”
    ~ Shouldn’t that say “…like ALL native-born people are?”

    “given all the anti-immigrant rhetoric in the Presidential race, for anything to change.”
    ~ Shouldn’t that say “…all the anti-illegal immigrant rhetoric…?”

    “There needs to be an acceptance factor that we have undocumented aliens in our state, and it would make sense that if they’re here, we should provide them the right to feel that they’re here,” said Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre.
    ~ Very touchy-feely rhetoric (read ‘political’) coming from Flagler’s top law enforcement officer. While there may be undocumented aliens present in our state, the absolutely LAST thing they should feel is the right to be here.

    Here is some background on Nevada’s tea party leaders pushing for a new Nevada law to let undocumented immigrants get “driver privilege cards” so they can legally hit the roads and buy auto insurance.

    Nevada’s Republican governor signed a bill May 31, 2013 to authorize driving privilege cards for illegal immigrants in an action that is likely to win favor in the state’s large and growing Hispanic community. Note that they are “privilege cards” and not driver licenses.
    “Sandoval emphasized that the card would not be accepted as identification and said that applicants must still pass a driving test and understand traffic laws, and would be required to obtain insurance.”

  5. Halfright says:

    So I moved to a sanctuary County? Won’t be voting for a Sheriff with that stance. What part of illegal do we not understand?

  6. Tim says:

    Let’s not forget the key issue here. Theae people are here illegally. Why are we rewarding criminals? It’s like the guy who just shows up and collects a paycheck who makes more than the persin who puts in all the overtime and makes the job his life and just gets more work piled on for less money. What is this country coming to? I support Trump so we can put a stop to these abusers of our country and it’s tree hugging liberals.

  7. Fredrick says:

    Why is this even a discussion? If they are undocumented and not here with a legal status, WHY ARE THEY ALLOWED TO BE HERE? Again, another reason Trumps popularity is fueled. It is a giant middle finger to the Washington and all of this Political Correctness crapola. All “we The People” want is for the constitution to be followed and not ignored by those in office and the laws that are in place to be enforced.

  8. Woody says:

    Undocumented Immigrants?don’t you illegal aliens?Instead of drivers licences give them a one way ticket back home.This is just crazy.

  9. TBG says:

    To get my Florida DL (born in the US to parents that were also born in the US) I was required to provide multiple documents to prove my citizenship?resident status and eligibility for a DL.

    QUESTION: What documentation must an UNDOCUMENTED individual show to get a DL? Seriously, I want an answer.

  10. Sherry says:

    Let’s move away from the bigoted point of view for just one moment. . . and actually consider some FACTUAL information. . . this from The Hill:

    According to the Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project, there were 8.4 million unauthorized immigrants employed in the U.S.; representing 5.2 percent of the U.S. labor force (an increase from 3.8 percent in 2000). Their importance was highlighted in a report by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs that stated, “Without the undocumented population, Texas’ work force would decrease by 6.3 percent” and Texas’ gross state product would decrease by 2.1 percent. Furthermore, certain segments of the U.S. economy, like agriculture, are entirely dependent upon illegal immigrants.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that, “about half of the hired workers employed in U.S. crop agriculture were unauthorized, with the overwhelming majority of these workers coming from Mexico.” The USDA has also warned that, “any potential immigration reform could have significant impacts on the U.S. fruit and vegetable industry.” From the perspective of National Milk Producers Federation in 2009, retail milk prices would increase by 61 percent if its immigrant labor force were to be eliminated.

    Echoing the Department of Labor, the USDA, and the National Milk Producers Federation, agricultural labor economist James S. Holt made the following statement to Congress in 2007: “The reality, however, is that if we deported a substantial number of undocumented farm workers, there would be a tremendous labor shortage.”

    In terms of overall numbers, The Department of Labor reports that of the 2.5 million farm workers in the U.S., over half (53 percent) are illegal immigrants. Growers and labor unions put this figure at 70 percent.

    But what about the immense strain on social services and money spent on welfare for these law breakers? The Congressional Budget Office in 2007 answered this question in the following manner: “Over the past two decades, most efforts to estimate the fiscal impact of immigration in the United States have concluded that, in aggregate and over the long term, tax revenues of all types generated by immigrants—both legal and unauthorized—exceed the cost of the services they use.” According to the New York Times, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration claims that undocumented workers have contributed close to 10% ($300 billion) of the Social Security Trust Fund.

    Finally, the aggregate economic impact of illegal immigration is debatable, but any claim that they’ve ruined the country doesn’t correlate to the views of any notable economist. An open letter to President George W. Bush in 2006, signed by around five hundred economists (including five Nobel laureates) stated the following: “While a small percentage of native-born Americans may be harmed by immigration, vastly more Americans benefit from the contributions that immigrants make to our economy, including lower consumer prices.”

    Although Harvard economist Jorge Borjas has stated that illegal immigrants from 1980-2000 have reduced the wages of high school dropouts in the U.S, he also states that the average American’s wealth has increased by 1 percent because of illegal immigration. In an op-ed published in the Los Angeles Times, UC Davis economist Giovanni Peri stated that new laws are needed to meet demands within industries like construction, agriculture, and hospitality: “In recent decades, the high demand for these services and the pressure for keeping their cost low and prices competitive have generated incentives to hire undocumented workers.”

    Some people claim that illegal immigrants represent an assault on our sovereignty. If this is true, then it might be the first time in world history that a country has employed its invaders. When illegal immigrants cross the border, there’s a citizen waiting to hire them and benefit in some manner from their labor. The sooner our country realizes that immigration reform should be based upon the views of economists and nonpartisan academic researchers, rather than think tanks and radio show hosts, then Congress will finally be able to help solve this national dilemma.

    Goodman is an author and journalist.

  11. wishful thinking says:

    In order to obtain a Driver’s License in Florida current LAW mandates you must be LEGAL in ordre to obtain one. What dont’ you understand Manfre?

    Having lived in Mexico in the mid 70’s I had to return to the US Border every six months and re-enter as ‘tourista’ and I was not allowed to work- period. Mexico requires US citizens live in Mexico as ‘touristas’ for 5 years before they can apply for immigrado… I guess Manfre is looking for more voters for himself because once you have a driver’s license the door is opened for lots more goodies that are open only to legal residents and citizens.
    Manfre – time for you to go – for good – this time.

  12. Sherry says:

    Even your horrific, hypocritical “celebrity” Presidential candidate, Trump, hires illegal immigrants. The reality is, they are NOT going to ever be deported in mass. Meanwhile, we need EVERY person behind the wheel of a car in the USA to have drivers’ training, a license, and most importantly CAR INSURANCE.

    Think this through. . . do you really want to deal with more and more people driving without insurance? Do you want to get in an accident with an uninsured motorist?

  13. Marty says:

    They ARE NOT undocumented immigrants. They are ILLEGAL ALIENS. They snuck into this country without even trying to use proper channels and illegally drive without a license. They absolutely deserve jail time and deportation.

  14. Ken Dodge says:

    Saying that we need every person behind the wheel of a car in the USA to have drivers’ training, a license, and car insurance is like saying we need every person who engages in sex in the USA to have sex education, a condom, and a marriage license.

  15. Econ professor says:

    Sherry, do you really think they will get insurance and pay taxes. And do you really feel it’s OK for illegals to get government assistance, medical coverage, and take jobs at low wages helps anyone. That is just crazy. Just because you don’t want to do the jobs that most of them do doesn’t make it OK. They get payed under the table and make less. So it does nothing for the economy. They don’t have the money to buy stuff to really generate revenue for business nor do they pay taxes that cover all the things our tax money goes toward. So giving them driver’s licenses makes no sense.

  16. Lin says:

    Why is it that we have all these quotes from New York Times, Los Angeles Times, economists and still very little understanding of basic economics. The most credible quote was the one from Pew which noted a remarkable increase in immigration.

    And this in a country that has been remarkably generous and welcoming to immigrants, perhaps the most generous in the world.

    Wanting to continue as the sovereign country as formed is not bigoted, it is The United States of America.

    We have a huge mushrooming deficit.
    Social programs are draining the treasury
    Immigrants partake at a much higher rate than non-immigrants who are very often lower educated

    As far as jobs go, if there are illegal immigrants willing to work for peanuts, why pay good wages.
    Unemployment numbers are fake without including long-term unemployed and those who have left the job market entirely
    There are many who would take those jobs if employers would pay a living wage
    That argument about doing the jobs Americans won’t do doesn’t hold water — my own family has held those very jobs

    If Manfre and any other bleeding heart wants to open doors to illegals, then change the laws in congress. Stop this law-breaking sanctuary city nonsense. Think about it, a sanctuary city perpetuated by the lawmen to help people breaking the law? And the President who says on one hand it would be unconstitutional to allow illegal immigration, defies the law and does just that.

    We are creating an attractive nuisance here & causing hardship to our citizens all to get more votes for democrats by creating a grateful and dependent constituency.

    Again illegal means illegal – simple.
    We need to see through the haze here.

  17. Devrie says:

    I would assume the undocumented people would still have to do all the things everyone else has to do to get the license: take a test, Etc. To actually drive a vehicle, they’d have to prove insurance and registration (and of course, pay the registration fees, Etc). If they are already here, and the license wouldn’t confer any legal status nor would help them get assistance, then why not? We don’t have an income tax here, and I would assume any type of revenue we can get from “outsiders” would help us. :) Let them pay the fees and be accountable if there’s an accident. Economically speaking, it might be advantageous to issue licenses to them, no?

  18. Frank says:

    While your at it, give the burglar the merchandise, give the rapist the victim, we can go on and on. Why can’t you people understand the word, ILLEGAL? Your solution to illegal immigration is to give them things such as licenses? I’ve heard it all now. we really need to change the direction of this country and fast! Starting with getting this Sherriff out of office ASAP!

  19. Linda Sparda says:

    This palm coast is a total disgrace and me and 10 other home owners actually want to put our houses up for sale.

  20. Ken Dodge says:

    ILLEGAL n. (ill-eagle): a sick bird

  21. Sherry says:

    And now for some actual FACTS. . . this from Rational Wiki:


    1. Illegal Immigrants Do Not Pay Taxes
    Immigrants pay property taxes either via home ownership or rental, as well as sales tax when purchasing goods in the U.S. Depending on their employers, the immigrants also pay federal, state, and local income taxes.
    Analysts told VICE News the population will contribute at least $12 billion to the federal government in 2015, and at least $10.6 billion to state and local governments via income and payroll taxes.

    Undocumented workers pay their part despite the fact that they are explicitly banned from taxpayer-funded programs such as Social Security, Medicare, welfare, and food stamps. Undocumented immigrants contributed about $12 billion to the Social Security Trust Fund in 2010, according to the Social Security Administration. Since illegal immigrants cannot legally be employed, they are often employed “off the books” in casual or seasonal work and are paid in cash, without taxes deducted and often below minimum wage. Employers often threaten to report immigrant workers to Immigration and Customs Enforcement if the worker complains about wages or working conditions.

    Since illegal immigrants often have fake or stolen documents (especially Social Security numbers), they often cannot benefit from Social Security taxes withheld from wages. The amount in question is evidenced by the Social Security Administration’s “suspense file” (taxes that cannot be matched to workers’ names and Social Security numbers), which grew $20 billion between 1990 and 1998.

    2. Immigrants Come Here To Get “Welfare”
    Immigrants come to work and to reunite with family members.
    Immigrant labor-force participation is consistently higher than native-born, and immigrant workers make up a larger share of the U.S. labor force (12.4%) than they do the U.S. population (11.5%). Moreover, the ratio between immigrant use of public benefits and the amount of taxes they pay is consistently favorable to the U.S., unless the “study” was undertaken by an anti-immigrant group. One study estimates that immigrants earn nearly $240 billion a year. Studies find that immigrant tax payments total $20 to $85 billion more than the amount of government services they use.

    Since the welfare reform of 1996, when limits were implemented cutting off benefits to two years consecutively or five years cumulatively, this is a bogus accusation.
    To immigrate into the US, you must have a sponsor (generally the family member, such as the spouse, bringing you into the country) who will testify, and provide proof, that he or she has enough money to support you, if you are unable to support yourself, or if you lose your job. This agreement means that until you naturalize as a U.S. citizen or have been a taxpayer for 10 years, your sponsor’s income will be taken into consideration in deciding whether you are poor enough to qualify for means-tested benefits, and that if you do take those benefits, the government can sue your sponsor to recover those costs. You can also sue your sponsor if they fail to support you at the poverty level.

    3. Immigrants Send All Their Money Back To Their Home Countries
    In addition to the consumer spending of immigrant households, immigrants and their businesses contribute $162 billion in tax revenue to U.S. federal, state, and local governments. While it is true that immigrants remit billions of dollars a year to their home countries, this is one of the most targeted and effective forms of foreign direct investment.

    Also, if you are going to complain that immigrants send money back to their home countries, you have to also raise a stink that very often, the rich offshore their money in foreign banks.

    4. Immigrants take jobs and opportunity away from Americans
    The largest wave of immigration to the U.S. since the early 1900s coincided with the lowest national unemployment rate and fastest economic growth. Immigrant entrepreneurs create jobs for U.S. and foreign workers, and foreign-born students keep graduate programs in U.S. universities in demand.[8] In Silicon Valley by 2003, companies founded by Chinese and Indian immigrants generated more than $19.5 billion in sales and nearly 73,000 jobs.

    Illegal immigrants, as well as legal immigrants with little job skills or language skills often take the work seen by most Americans as “beneath them.” Janitorial services, crop pickers and garbage collectors need workers, and they do not find them from high-school-educated, English-speaking citizens. As a demonstration of this fact, in Georgia, a 2011 crackdown on illegal immigrants caused many to be deported and more to flee the state. This caused a shortage of labor on the state’s farms, indicating that illegal immigrants in that state do not compete very much with Americans for jobs.
    Immigrants are a drain on the U.S. economy

    During the 1990s, half of all new workers were foreign-born, filling gaps left by native-born workers in both the high- and low-skill ends of the spectrum. Immigrants fill jobs in key sectors and create jobs by establishing their own businesses, with an estimated annual benefit of $10 billion to the U.S. economy. According to Alan Greenspan, 70% of immigrants arrive when they are of prime working age.
    Due to welfare reform, legal immigrants are severely restricted from accessing public benefits, and illegal immigrants are even further precluded from anything other than emergency services. Anti-immigrant groups skew these figures by including programs used by U.S. citizen children of immigrants in their definition of immigrant welfare use, among other tactics.

    5. Immigrants don’t want to learn English or become Americans
    Within ten years of arrival, more than 75% of immigrants speak English well; moreover, demand for English classes at the adult level far exceeds supply. Greater than 33% of immigrants are naturalized citizens; given increased immigration in the 1990s, this figure will rise as more legal permanent residents become eligible for naturalization in the coming years. The number of immigrants naturalizing spiked sharply after two events: enactment of immigration and welfare reform laws in 1996, and the terrorist attacks in 2001.

    6. Illegal immigrants cause crime
    Whilst a common cry of the anti immigration brigade – and the font of endless anecdotal “evidence” – the facts don’t support this. According to FBI statistics in Arizona in 2008, despite the increased presence of illegal immigrants, crime rates have actually dropped, while the population has increased.[17] Only 8% of the prison population are immigrants, which also includes legal immigrants as well.[18]
    Furthermore, El Paso, Tex., and San Diego, Calif., cities that border Mexico and have a significant population of undocumented immigrants, have the lowest crime rates in the U.S.

    7. The government is not enforcing existing immigration laws
    By September 2011, the number of removed illegal immigrants from the United States during the Obama administration exceeded the number of removals during the entire George W. Bush administration.[20]
    It would be difficult, if not impossible, for the government to round up and deport every illegal immigrant. The agency responsible for doing so, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has limited resources (finances, officers, jail spaces etc.) and must prioritize how they are spent (as well as figuring out how to spend resources on enforcing US Customs laws).[21] A migrant farm laborer’s family probably is not as high on ICE’s priority list for deportation as as a major drug trafficker might be. Furthermore, aliens involved in deportation proceedings are entitled to due process regardless of their status in the United States.


    It’s fair to assume that industries that are largely dependent on the hard work of illegal immigrants would collapse, or at least suffer a major setback.
    Despite many of the jobs done by immigrants being low pay and long hours, they do require skill and training. Replacing e.g. a huge number of people plucking almonds or cutting asparagus on short notice is next to impossible. Say goodbye (OR PAY MUCH MORE) to your food!

    The cost of the program would be massive; law enforcement would need a huge amount of extra resources and manpower to put deportation into practice, and the courts (y’know, due process and all that) would also have a shortage of money and labor.

    Many children of immigrants are natural-born US citizens, via the 14th Amendment’s Citizenship clause. Hence, blanket deportation of illegal immigrants would involve expelling the parents of citizens, leaving millions with the choice of what amounts to exile (at least until they’re adults) or living as orphans. And it brings up another logistical nightmare as many deported parents may choose to leave their children behind for what seems like a brighter future, dumping a massive load onto an already overburdened foster care system.

  22. Rock hard says:

    WTH… Manfre trying to win over the minority here..?? Just plain dumb and ignorant to give a valid license to an illegal immigrant ( undocumented immigrants )

  23. Robert f says:

    Next President of the Unites States will be an illegal immigrant
    They are smart people. Just give them the driver license. Hillary Clinton #1. Trump go home, you are fired!!!

  24. anonymous says:

    Sheriff Manfre wont be getting my vote. We need a law obiding citizen to take this position. This country is being ruined and we need a change quickly.

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