SARASOTA (FOX 13) -
Bay area groups are bringing back the push for immigrants to have driver's licenses, regardless of legal status. Saturday, demonstrators took to the streets of Sarasota, calling for change.
"Not a lot of people in Florida are legal, so if you're not legal you can't have a driver's license," said Paula Rincon, a demonstrator with the group Living With Angels.
Rincon and several other protesters held signs along U.S. 41, chanting and calling attention to their cause. Living with Angels is just one Sarasota group calling on the state legislature and Gov. Rick Scott to pass a law allowing undocumented immigrants to have licenses to drive.
"There are at least 12 states in the United States that have already approved this law. We want to be part of that group of states," Rincon said.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 11 states, plus the District of Columbia, have laws allowing unauthorized immigrants to have licenses.
Last year, Florida lawmakers passed a bill that would let children of undocumented immigrants drive, but Gov. Scott vetoed it, noting under current state law, immigrants with federal employment authorization cards are eligible for temporary licenses.
Groups trying to bring back the debate think it could bring an economic boost.
"The insurance companies can sell insurance," said Humberto Iberico, another demonstrator. "More car payments for all the companies. More sales for all the companies."
They also believe by forcing undocumented immigrants who are already driving to take the standard training and tests, roads could be safer.
"If you're driving without a driver's license and you crash into somebody, some people are going to just hit and run," said Rincon.
Several groups are collecting signatures for petition lawmakers to revisit this issue. The following businesses are locations to sign:
-Rocket PC Repair, 3618 Webber St., Unit 101, Sarasota -SRQ Printing, 3618 Webber St., Unit 102, Sarasota -Gijoalma Party Decoration, 5549 Rollingwood Dr., Sarasota -Mi Sitio Market Restaurante, 3626 Webber St., Sarasota -Maemi on 17th Peruvian Restaurant, 3482 17th St., Sarasota -El Mariachi Loco Latin Market, 6350 15th St E, Sarasota -Recuerdos Leyda, 3056 17th St., Sarasota -Kidsmania Hair Salon, 4517 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota -Areli Hair Salon, 2035 12st St., Sarasota -Acapulco Tropical Super Market, 3517 1st St., Bradenton -The Latin Brother Market, 1100 N. Tuttle Ave., Sarasota -Le Margarita Beauty Salon, 1100 M. Tuttle Ave, #13, Sarasota -Dolce Beauty Salon, 3865 S. Tuttle Ave., Sarasota
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