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Illegal immigrant license bill dropped by sponsor

By Wire services
Published April 18, 2004

TALLAHASSEE - A bill that would have allowed illegal immigrants in Florida to obtain driver's licenses has been abandoned by its sponsor following security concerns raised by law enforcement officials around the state.

Sen. Rudy Garcia, R-Hialeah, said Friday he would propose studying the issue before next year's legislative session begins. The bill was backed by Gov. Jeb Bush, but it was quickly dismissed by sheriffs who questioned whether other countries can provide acceptable criminal background checks.

Proponents said allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain licenses would not only make roads safer, it would provide security by creating a record of who they are and where they live. That information could be used to track down terrorists, they said.

But several state lawmakers, including Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach, have said constituents overwhelmingly rejected the proposal, saying illegal immigrants should not be rewarded for breaking the law.

Sentencing delayed in crash that killed kids

SANFORD - Sentencing has been delayed for a central Florida woman whose reckless driving killed her daughter and another teenager more than three years ago.

Mary Hill, 53, of Longwood was expected to be sentenced Friday on a manslaughter conviction. She was convicted in February.

But Seminole County Circuit Judge O.H. Eaton Jr. said he needed more time to think about the case after doctors argued that she is deeply depressed and suicidal and needs a mental institution, not prison. Hill will be jailed until Eaton announces a decision May 10.

On Aug. 7, 2000, Hill was driving a carload of middle-school students home from their first day of classes when she lost control of her BMW and crashed into a tree.

Killed were Hill's 13-year-old daughter, Amy, and the child's best friend, Carrie Brown, 14.

[Last modified April 18, 2004, 01:35:47]

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