The E-Verify employment-vetting system won’t be on Florida’s November ballot for a public vote, but the program is growing nonetheless.
The state Constitution Revision Commission on Monday rejected Proposal 6010, which would have required all employers to use the free federal database to check the legal status of job applicants. After relentless lobbying from the Florida Chamber of Commerce and allied activists for illegal aliens, 24 of 36 commissioners voted to kill the ballot measure.
While the Chamber called the commission’s action “a win for protecting Florida’s Constitution,” E-Verify continues to expand throughout the state and across the country.
Twenty states have laws requiring at least some employers to use E-Verify. Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee mandate it for all employers. Florida Gov. Rick Scott, in 2011, signed an executive order directing state agencies and their contractors to use the system.
Nationally, 2.4 million hiring sites were enrolled in the E-Verify program at the end of 2017. California, that famed sanctuary state, listed the most E-Verify-compliant hiring sites: 216,850.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reported a record 9.1 million individual cases were processed during the last fiscal year. Notably, Florida ranked fourth in the country, with 454,100 E-Verify checks.
Growth of E-Verify has been rapid. In 2001, just 1,064 employers participated in the program. By 2017, 749,923 were on board.
The Center for Immigration Studies calls E-Verify “one of the most successful tools available to address illegal employment.” By cross-checking information from the federal I-9 form, which must be completed for all new hires, against records from USCIS and the Social Security Administration, E-Verify enables employers to instantly verify whether a new employee is legally authorized to work in the country.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce boasted it had protected the state’s constitution by aborting the E-Verify ballot measure. In fact, the Chamber’s rear-guard lobbying campaign shielded shady, bottom-feeding employers who suppress wages and undercut law-abiding competitors with illegal workers.
So Florida continues to labor with an inequitable underground economy, and its citizens are denied an opportunity to exercise their constitutional rights. With the pre-emptive defeat of Proposal 6010, the illegal job magnet remains in place. More employers may now opt out of E-Verify altogether.
None of that sounds like a “win” for the Sunshine State.