Governor DeSantis pushes e-verify requirement for all Florida employers

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Governor Ron DeSantis made a major announcement in The Villages on Monday morning.

While speaking at the Fenney Recreation Center, he said that he wants to crack down on illegal immigration by requiring all employers in Florida to use the federal e-verify system. E-verify is a federally operated electronic database that can screen and verify the immigration status of workers.

This is not the first time e-verify has come up in Florida with efforts dating back to 2011.

"Obviously, it creates a disincentive for people to come illegally if you have e-verify. But I think what it does is it further tightens the labor market, has rising wages at the bottom for our blue collar workers here in Florida," DeSantis said.

But as state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has argued: The bill could put an expensive burden on farmers and hurt the industry.  

"What E-Verify does, is it really puts especially our smaller farmers who don’t have huge operations, it is a burden on them to be able to operate their businesses," she said.

While speaking to a room of residents in The Villages, the governor tied the e-verify system to a matter of public safety, introducing two angel families who have lost loved ones in traffic accidents involving undocumented immigrants. 

“We lost our son Brandon when he was 21 years old. He was on his lunch break from work. Gone to cash his paycheck when he was killed by a twice deported illegal alien,” Kiyan Michaels said.

DeSantis also doubled down on his support for the U.S. Mexican border wall, adding that requiring r-verify will keep illegal aliens from coming to live and work in Florida. 

“At the end of the day, the law is the law, and you can either comply with it or you don’t. And I think in Florida, we should be complying with it and have a legal workforce," he said.

Governor Desantis' announcement can be watched below.

This story was written in Orlando, Florida.