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IS RICK SCOTT CHANGING HIS MIND ON E-VERIFY?

Require all Florida employers to use E-Verify system

"Rick will require all Florida employers to use the free E-Verify system to ensure that their workers are legal."

Sources: Rick Scott For Governor campaign website, Issues: Border Security

Subjects: Immigration, Regulation, Workers

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Scott-o-meter: PROMISE BROKEN

Gov. Rick Scott's campaign promise to make Florida employers use the federal E-Verify system earned a Promise Broken from us last year because the state Legislature failed to pass a statewide requirement.

Recent comments from Scott indicate we won't be changing the status of this promise anytime soon.

Speaking at a luncheon with state citrus officials, Scott blamed the federal government for not doing more to secure the borders and said he did not know of any efforts by lawmakers to revive an E-Verify bill, the Lakeland Ledger reported on June 13, 2012.

"It would be foolish to put Florida companies at a disadvantage," Scott said.

Scott was responding to a question about the possibility of a future E-Verify bill by Michael Sparks, chief executive of Florida Citrus Mutual.

Scott's pledge to require private businesses to use the federal employment background system was part of a few immigration-related promises on the campaign. This one played well with some conservatives, especially tea party members, but is unpopular with the agriculture industry, which relies on undocumented labor to harvest crops.

Scott spokesman Lane Wright couched the governor's statement a few days later, saying Scott still supports E-Verify "as long as it is part of a broader strategy for the federal government doing its job on immigration."

It's not clear from his comments that Scott has explicitly abandoned the idea of imposing E-Verify requirements for private industry. Still, supporters of a blanket requirement won't be encouraged when they see what he said before the citrus industry.

This one remains Promise Broken.

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Sources:

The Lakeland Ledger, "Gov. Scott assures growers on immigration," June 13, 2012

Email interview with Kevin Bouffard, Ledger reporter, June 16, 2012

Interview Lane Wright, Gov. Rick Scott spokesman, June 15, 2012

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