E-Verify is an internet based service overseen by the federal Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the Social Security Administration. It allows employers to check the identity information of new hires to see if they are legally eligible to work.
TALLAHASSEE — Defying Florida's most powerful industries — agriculture and tourism — Gov. Ron DeSantis plans to make good on his campaign pledge to require all businesses in the state to use the federal E-Verify database to assure that new hires are legally eligible to work in this country.
But getting E-Verify through the Legislature — and a related bill barring so-called 'sanctuary' policies, another favorite with the GOP voting base — could prove challenging for the new governor.
“With the base, it's the number one issue,” said Florida Republican Party Chairman Joe Gruters. “We've got sanctuary cities legislation through the House before,' Gruters added. 'E-Verify is certainly on the governor's list, but it could be a big lift.”
E-Verify and the ban on sanctuary cities, where federal immigration laws are loosely enforced by local authorities, have been opposed by Democrats, who view the legislation as targeting minorities. Other opponents to the E-Verify legislation already are gearing up. Within the Legislature an unusual coalition is uniting against E-Verify.
Republicans command sizable majorities in both the House and Senate. But industries opposed are major contributors to the state Republican Party and individual lawmakers' campaigns, which typically earns them influence on issues.
Twenty states, including Florida, require E-Verify for some employers. But only four states currently make all employers use it.
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