E-Verify Fights For Life in Florida



Bidding to make Florida the largest state with a mandatory E-Verify law, immigration-enforcement activists are close to putting the program up for a public vote.

Frustrated with politicians whose campaign pledges evaporate in office, Floridians for Immigration Enforcement and allied groups are on the verge of getting an employment-verification proposition on the November ballot.

The state Constitution Revision Commission voted for the proposal 19-13 after two committees unanimously approved it. But 22 votes are needed by next week’s deadline to make the ballot.

Billionaire GOP contributor Michael Fernandez and nearly 70 other business and political leaders are stepping up their fight to block the way. Money talks, and Fernandez is speaking loudly.

Throwing in with the Immigration Partnership and Coalition (IMPAC) Fund – and against legal workers in Florida — Fernandez & Co. blithely assert that “E-Verify will destroy our state’s economy.”

In truth, the big-money opposition to E-Verify is a rear-guard effort to perpetuate Florida’s shadowy low-wage economy at the expense of legal workers. Though Gov. Rick Scott signed a 2008 executive order requiring E-Verify for state agencies and their contractors, Florida remains the only state in the Southeast without a comprehensive E-Verify program.

The Naples Daily News, in an investigation into “Florida’s Disposable Workers,” reported that employers across the state “continue accepting false documents without checking them, even in industries with a high percentage of unauthorized workers or with a history of employees using fake identification. Some workers have accused employers of actually providing the false documents.”

The fight over E-Verify comes down to a battle between powerful lobbyists and billionaires against working men and women whose voices and concerns have long been ignored at the Legislature, where Republican super majorities have killed 48 immigration-enforcement bills since 2008.

Though a rising tide of illegal aliens costs the Sunshine State more than $6 billion annually, Floridians cannot assume that the three additional votes needed for the E-Verify proposition are a lock. Nor can they count on all the earlier supporters holding firm.

CRC Chairman Carlos Beruff ran for U.S. Senate against Marco Rubio on a mandatory E-Verify platform. Now on the commission, Beruff voted against E-Verify.

Florida politicians can make all the empty promises they need to get elected. They can even pass immigration laws that tinker around the margins. But until E-Verify becomes law, Florida’s illegal job magnet will continue attract outlaw labor, and law-abiding workers will pay the price.

It’s time the citizens of Florida had their say.

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)’s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Florida Bends to Illegal Job Magnet | ImmigrationReform.com

  2. avatar

    “There’s no way in the world we can forge a sustainable society without stabilizing the population..There’s no practical way of stabilizing the population of the US without reducing the immigration rate.”

    Sounds like the cash-cow Southern Poverty Law Center will have to declare this “hate speech”. And Facebook will have to ban it as “unsafe for our community”.

    April 22 is Earth Day, and most of the preening environmentalist blowhards will have their usual talking points. What they ignore is that the above words were those of the founder of Earth Day, the late liberal Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson.

    Immigration is the main factor behind our population growth of 25 to 30 million people per decade for the last 30 years. There is nothing good, only bad, about such growth. It’s ironic that the hypocritical Sierra Club, which drove out those calling for immigration reductions, had to move from it’s long time home of San Francisco to Oakland, because of rent increases. Rent increases only exacerbated by the never ending flow of immigration to San Francisco.

  3. avatar

    Think only Democrats are against immigration and labor law enforcement? Think again! The Cheap Labor wing of the GOP, funded by the US Chamber of Crony Capitalism, is the best friend an illegal alien ever had! Remember El Presidente Jorge W. Boosh’s pledge to “see you at the signing” of an illegal alien AMNESTY bill ten years ago?

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