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Governor Signs Bill Requiring Businesses With More than 25 Workers to Ensure They're All Legal Residents

Florida - Wednesday May 10, 2023: Governor DeSantis Wednesday signed Senate Bill 1718 into law which requires some Florida employers to use the E-Verify system, run by the Department of Homeland Security.

The E-verify website allows businesses to determine whether the workers they hire are in the United States legally. The Federal Government does not require its use, but it's now mandatory in Florida for any company that employs more than 25 workers.

SB 1718 expands penalties for employers who fail to comply with E-Verify requirements, including the possible suspension and revocation of employer licenses and the imposition of specific penalties on employers that knowingly employ illegal aliens.

It also increases penalties for human smuggling making the crime eligible for prosecution under the Florida Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act for anyone that smuggles a minor, or more than five people, and when the defendant has a prior conviction for human smuggling.

The Governor conducted the signing at a news conference at the Miller Electric Company in Jacksonville Wednesday morning. Miller Electric has already adopted E-Verify to confirm that all their employees are legal residents of the U.S.

In addition:

* Local governments are prohibited from issuing Identification Cards (ID) to illegal aliens, and requires hospitals to collect and submit data on the costs of providing health care to illegal aliens.

* Every hospital that accepts Medicaid will be required to include a question on admission or registration forms that asks whether the patient is a U.S. citizen or lawfully present in the U.S. or is not lawfully present in the U.S. Hospitals will be required to report the results to the Agency for Health Care Administration.

* Illegal aliens will no longer be permitted to rely on out-of-state driver licenses. The law makes it a third-degree felony for an unauthorized alien to knowingly use a false ID document to gain employment as well as prohibiting a county or municipality from providing funds to any person or organization for the purpose of issuing IDs or other documents to an illegal alien.

* The new law invalidates ID cards issued to illegal aliens in other states, If another state issued a license to an illegal alien who was unable to prove lawful presence in the U.S. when his or her license was issued, that person is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle in Florida.

The law takes effect on July 1.