Florida Sen. J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales proposed an amendment to the controversialĀ immigration-enforcement bill theĀ Senate will discuss and vote on today.

The Miami Herald reports today that Ā Alexander proposed an amendment to Senate Bill 2040, ā€œtaking away the burden of checking a personā€™s immigration status from employers, who would no longer be required to use the federal governmentā€™s e-Verify system or any other alternative on prospective hires.ā€

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 Floridaā€™s workforce agencies.

And instead of checking a personā€™s immigration status after a conviction, Alexanderā€™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 ā€“- particularly when it comes to domestic violence.

The Herald reported yesterday that Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, proposed amendments to the bill that ā€œwould 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.ā€

Florida social, religious andĀ business groups and elected officials have actively opposedĀ S.B. 2040, not only because of E-Verify language but because it authorizes local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration laws.

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