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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

No e-Verify for businesses, JD Alexander says

At long last, we know what the Senate’s tougher immigration crackdown bill may look like.

Sen. JD Alexander’s strike-all amendment to SB 2040 proposes taking away the burden of checking a person’s immigration status from employers, who would no longer be required to use the federal government’s e-Verify system or any other alternative on prospective hires.

The state, however, will have to use e-Verify on any public benefits applications, including on people looking through work in person at Florida’s workforce agencies.

And instead of checking a person’s immigration status after a conviction, Alexander’s amendment puts forth running a check after a person is arrested and booked. That could be troubling for law enforcement; police officers have said they fear such measures could deter undocumented immigrants from reporting crimes –- particularly when it comes to domestic violence.

Though he has not read Sen. Rene Garcia’s proposed changes to the bill, Alexander said after a budget meeting Tuesday morning that he would not support punishing businesses for hiring undocumented immigrants.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 10:34am]


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