Florida Sen. J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales proposed an amendment to the controversial immigration-enforcement bill the Senate will discuss and vote on today.
The Miami Herald reports today that Alexander proposed an amendment to Senate Bill 2040, “taking away the burden of checking a person’s immigration status from employers, who would no longer be required to use the federal government’s e-Verify system or any other alternative on prospective hires.”
The Herald adds:
The state, however, will have to use e-Verify on any public benefits applications, including on people looking through work in person at Florida’s workforce agencies.
And instead of checking a person’s immigration status after a conviction, Alexander’s amendment puts forth running a check after a person is arrested and booked. That could be troubling for law enforcement; police officers have said they fear such measures could deter undocumented immigrants from reporting crimes –- particularly when it comes to domestic violence.
The Herald reported yesterday that Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, proposed amendments to the bill that “would make a business lose its occupational license and be barred from entering into any state or local government contracts if it hires undocumented immigrants. Businesses would also face a $5,000 civil fine for every undocumented immigrant it employs.”
Florida social, religious and business groups and elected officials have actively opposed S.B. 2040, not only because of E-Verify language but because it authorizes local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration laws.