Dear Friends of LIFA:
Florida Governor DeSantis made his feelings known that he wanted to sign an E-Verify bill this session. This is the mandate that employers use E-Verify to access the federal database and make sure potential employees are legally here.
Several versions were written and will be heard in the near future in the Florida legislature. The first one was SB-664 sponsored by Senator Tom Lee and Amended by Senator David Simmons. During this 1st hearing both Senators Lee and Simmons stated the bill was “work in progress” and to expect further revisions. The bill passed in the Florida Senate Judicial committee. We hope the agricultural and independent contractors’ exemptions will not be included. Imperfect or not, it is a step in the right direction.
On Tuesday the 18th there will be a second hearing on SB-664. On Thursday, the 20th there will be a hearing in the House on companion bill HB-1265 introduced by Rep Cord Byrd.
We encourage you to contact the Senators on the Commerce and Tourism Committee to ask them to pass bill SB-664 without the exemptions:
Chairman Joe Gruters (R) – (850) 487-5023; http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S23
Senator Travis Hutson (R) – (850) 487-5007; http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S7
Sen. Tom Wright (R) – (850) 487-5014; http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S14
Sen. Victor Torres (D) – (850) 487-5015; http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S15
Sen. Linda Stewart (D) – (850) 487-5013; http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S13
LIFA considers this mandate long overdue. Some of the reasons are:
1) It is a safety issue – Employers have a duty to keep worker’s work place safe, regardless of their status. Hiring aliens with false documentation and unknown backgrounds would betray that.
2) It is a fairness issue – Laws need to be applied equally to all to be fair. We cannot have “some be more equal than others” and be permitted to hire “pseudo slaves” so they can better compete against those complying with the law.
3) It about jobs – Citizens and legal immigrants cannot compete with the “pseudo slaves” who will work for unrealistic cheap wages. In the early 1980’s High Schoolers worked in agriculture, construction and hospitality in the summer to earn money for college. Those jobs are now not available to them or to homeless Americans.
4) It is about overpopulation — Illegal aliens would be deterred from pouring into Florida. The state is growing at an alarming rate. Every year 330,000 people are arriving in Florida. The infrastructure is totally inadequate to handle it.
Floridians need to show support for the work state legislators are doing in Tallahassee. Testimony in front of the various committees is usually well received and more important than you might think. We admit that the trip to Tallahassee is cumbersome for most Floridians. The Capitol sits closer to Georgia than to the majority of Florida constituents!
I give kudos to Sen. Kevin Rader, D-Delray Beach, who filed the proposal SB-112 for consideration on moving the Capitol to Orlando during this 2020 legislative session. In 2018, Rep. Bill Hager, R-Delray Beach, proposed a similar measure. There certainly seems to be many sensible people in Delray Beach.
We do take consolation in the fact that the Capitol has numerous reasonably priced hotels, restaurants, historical sites, and a great university nearby, that makes the trip worthwhile if you want to play tourist.
Legal Immigrants for America