State Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Port St. Lucie, today filed a bill that would require every private employer to use E-Verify, the electronic federal database, to verify if an immigrant is authorized to work in the U.S.

The bill filed by Harrell

  • requires every employer to use Employment Authorization Program to verify employment eligibility of each employee on or after specified date;
  • provides that business that does not use federal E-Verify system to verify employment eligibility of new employee shall lose its license to do business in state until business has registered with E-Verify system;
  • prohibits employer from employing unauthorized alien;
  • requires every public employer to register with & participate in E-Verify system for specified purposes;
  • prohibits public employer, contractor, or subcontractor from entering into contract for physical performance of services in this state unless contractor or subcontractor registers & participates in system.

Business groups like the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Associated Industries of Florida, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association opposed two immigration enforcement bills that included mandatory E-Verify rules during the 2011 legislative session.

In one of his first acts, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed an executive order requiring that all state agencies — and all companies that enter into contracts with state agencies — use E-Verify to check the employment elligibility of their workers.

At the federal level Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., cosponsored a bill requiring all employers to use E-Verify, a bill filed by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, and opposed by immigrant advocates, organized labor and the American Nursery & Landscape Association.

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