In the wake of the hard fought win by former House of Representatives Republican Ron DeSantis in the Florida governor’s race, legislators in the state House and Senate are inspired to try again to move two bills that would have a chilling effect on the ability of businesses to hire illegal aliens and for local governments to harbor them from federal law enforcement.
An immigration restriction group headquartered in Washington, DC, the Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR), reported the news about the bills to its members on Friday.
Although the legislature does not reconvene until March 2019, committees will discuss the bills during January and February.
On December 11, Representative Thad Altman (R-Melbourne/Indialantic) introduced HB 89 which would among other provisions:
~ Require all private employers to register with E-Verify and use it for all employees hired after January 1, 2020;
~ Require all state agencies, local governments and public contractors to verify new employees hired after July 1, 2019;
~ Set up an enforcement process where private employers could lose their business licenses for employing illegal aliens;
~ Require the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity to report illegal aliens to ICE.
Many, including the leadership of FAIR, believe that mandatory E-Verify would go a long way to slowing the flow of economic migrants flooding across the US Southern border.
Although Florida has been a so-called ‘Trifecta state,’ meaning that the legislature and the governor’s office have been held by the same party – Republicans in this case – a tough E-Verify bill was never enacted into law because, as FAIR reports, a coalition of businesses looking for cheap, easy to obtain, labor has stymied earlier efforts.
However, it isn’t just the business community that objects to measures seeking to assure fairness for American workers, far Left Open Borders activists are ready and willing to blast, as a racist, any political leader who takes on the effort.
An editorial in the Leftwing Miami New Times, a weekly newspaper owned by Voice Media Group in Denver, Colorado, didn’t hold back calling Rep. Altman a “carpetbagger” (he arrived in Florida from Georgia as a two-year-old in 1957) who brought “Deep South hatred to Florida.”
The editorial writer, Jerry Iannelli, went on to say of Altman, “He has one of those old-white-dude names that is essentially just ‘Monocle Q. Racism.’”
Not satisfied with attacking Altman personally, Iannelli goes on to suggest that legislators like Altman take their cues from Right-wing media:
The concept is a mainstay of hard-right, jingoistic, and racist media outlets such as Breitbart and Fox News, two outright propaganda farms that choose to ignore basic science and straight-up incorrectly say immigrants bring crime to the country and suck up resources.
Undaunted by the attacks, and with the newly-elected governor Ron DeSantis headed to Tallahassee to be sworn in on January 8th, those supporting stronger state immigration laws are energized.
Known as an immigration hardliner, DeSantis, has a NumbersUSA grade of A+ for his work in Congress to control immigration.
Citing a tweet in July in which the now governor-elect said, “Cheap foreign labor is not an excuse to let lawlessness prevail in the sunshine state. We want people who come LEGALLY!” legislators have some optimism that he has their backs.
There’s NOT going to be any sanctuary cities in Florida when I’m Governor! I’ve always opposed amnesty and stood up for the rule of law in our country. Cheap foreign labor is not an excuse to let lawlessness prevail in the sunshine state. We want people who come LEGALLY! pic.twitter.com/tIJwIVa1BA
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantisFL) July 6, 2018
In that same tweet, DeSantis also said “There’s NOT going to be any sanctuary cities in Florida when I’m Governor!
The second legislative push, highlighted by FAIR in its message to supporters, will be to outlaw Sanctuary Cities in the state of Florida.
Two Senators, Sen. Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota) and Sen. Senator Aaron Bean (R-Jacksonville/Fernandina Beach), have already introduced bills, described by FAIR as identical, seeking to stymie any initiatives to set up sanctuary locations either at the local government level or by state agencies which include state universities.
A House bill is expected soon.
One provision of the bill will surely appeal to Florida citizens who might be harmed by an illegal alien.
If the measure becomes law, it would “allow people to sue a local government or state agency for damages if an illegal alien injures or kills someone due to a sanctuary policy.”
According to a report from the Washington, DC-based Center for Immigration Studies on Sanctuary cities and jurisdictions, Florida has only two locations, so far, refusing to go along with federal immigration law: Alachua County and Clay County located in the northern part of the state.
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Anna Marie Bolton is a reporter for Battleground State News.