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Newsletter Article [Federal Legislative Affairs] [06/01/11]
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Federal Legislative Affairs

Iggy Garcia, Esq. - Federal Legislative Affairs Director

GavelOn Tuesday, May 3, 2011, an amendment to an immigration bill in the Florida Senate, which would have penalized employers for hiring illegal aliens, failed to pass the Senate. The bill would have fined employers who hire illegal aliens $500 for the first offense, $1,000 for the second offense, and $1,500 for the third offense. The amendment’s sponsor, John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine), thought it would incentivize Florida employers to use E-Verify. E-Verify is the internet-based system that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States.

At the start of his term, Governor Scott issued an executive order requiring all businesses which contract with the State of Florida to implement E-Verify for their Florida employees. However, the executive order is not applicable to those businesses which do not contract with the State.

The failure of this amendment to pass, when the State Senate, House and Governor’s mansion are all held by Republicans shows just how difficult it is to deal with immigration issues at the federal or state level. However, until the federal government acts in a comprehensive way to address immigration, we expect states, including Florida, to continue to attempt to address it in piecemeal fashion. As such, employers should continue to be vigilant for more attempts by the federal or state legislatures, or their regulatory agencies, to address immigration issues in, at least, a piecemeal fashion.

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