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The right to legally obtain a license in Florida for immigrants and its positive impact on Florida’s economy.  

November 18, 2019 | Jany Martinez Ward
The right to legally obtain a license in Florida for immigrants and its positive impact on Florida’s economy.  

The Ward Law Group's perspective for a more inclusive community. A mention in the Miami Diario

In a recent article published by Miami Diario, Ms. Jany Martinez Ward, founder of The Ward Law Group, contributed her insights to a critical discussion on the potential benefits of granting driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants in Florida. At The Ward Law Group, we believe in actively participating in conversations that address issues impacting our community and road safety. 

The article clarifies the benefits of granting undocumented immigrants driver's licenses by citing research from the Florida Policy Institute. According to Ms. Martinez Ward, an experienced personal injury lawyer, the state's economy and traffic safety could benefit from such a legislative change. 

Ms. Martinez Ward pointed out that a considerable percentage (26%) of drivers lacking licenses creates challenges in addressing financial responsibilities in the aftermath of accidents. Victims often struggle to claim damages for vehicle repairs and medical expenses, as drivers without licenses typically lack insurance coverage. 

Furthermore, the article highlighted the correlation between granting undocumented immigrants licenses and decreasing hit-and-run incidents. States like California and Connecticut, which have implemented similar measures, experienced notable reductions in hit-and-run cases, fostering a more accountable driving environment. 

Ms. Martinez Ward emphasized how road safety might be improved if undocumented immigrants had to undergo the same screening and training procedures as other community members.  

This strategy could reduce collisions caused by drivers unfamiliar with Florida and U.S. traffic laws. Apart from her proficiency in law, Ms. Martinez Ward's viewpoint coincides with a group of corporate and community leaders who support inclusive policies.  

In a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis and other state representatives, it is emphasized how critical it is to grant licenses to undocumented people and to stop legislation that could harm Florida. 

What is important to highlight is that it makes little sense for Florida to turn its back on its own community, encouraging hundreds of people not to have access to a driver's license formalization process that, in objective terms, will positively benefit the State. 

However, even though the numbers show this favorable impact, the political discourse is sometimes dominated by a narrative that decides to generalize concerning Florida's immigrant population and closes the doors to particular cases that could contribute a lot to the community by having access to a basic document such as a driver's license. 

Making laws that are distant from reality, from what happens, can be harmful to the entire State and the entire community since it does not recognize the essential rights of the people who are part of the same community and who, through their daily work, inspire a culture of growth and improvement that has always accompanied the State of Florida throughout its history. 

To deny through arbitrary posturing the very nature of Florida as a receiving state for immigrants in search of freedom is to fail to recognize that this part of the world has always represented a new beginning for many. That is why we should not defend positions that align to any extreme but rather pragmatic positions that see the benefit of all those who make up the day-to-day life of the State. 

Jany Martinez Ward Author Image
Jany Martinez Ward

Jany Martínez-Ward is a Founding and Managing Partner of The Ward Law Group, PL, a Florida law firm representing victims of car accidents. She focuses her practice on providing legal representation to Hispanic clients that have become injured in a car accident as a result of the negligence of others. In 2018, The National Trial Lawyers Association recognized Jany as one of the top attorneys in the state and among the top 40 under 40 attorneys.


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