by Bethany Blankley
The state of Florida is cracking down on companies that aren’t complying with E-verify laws in an attempt to ensure they aren’t hiring people who are in the country illegally, including the American National Red Cross.
The state Department of Economic Opportunity sent letters to six companies putting them on notice that if they don’t reply by Monday, January 16, their business licenses will be suspended and they won’t be able to operate in Florida.
“At the governor’s direction, Florida is cracking down on the unlawful employment of unauthorized aliens in the state of Florida,” Jeremy Redfern, deputy press secretary for Gov. Ron DeSantis, told The Center Square. “Companies that have not affirmed that all employees have passed E-Verify and are authorized to work in the United States are given an opportunity to cure the issue and so affirm. Six companies have failed to do so after repeated notices and are subject to the suspension of their licenses to operate their business in the state. They have been issued final notices of non-compliance.”
The DEO sent letters to six companies, four based in Florida and two based in other states, on Dec. 16 notifying them of their final opportunity to provide documentation to show they were in compliance with Florida law. The Florida-based companies include MDL Property Maintenance, Inc. of Boynton Beach; Intelycare, Inc., of Clearwater and Quincy, Massachusetts; Prestige Cruise Services, LLC, of Miami; and ScribeAmerica, LLC, of Ft. Lauderdale. The others include Missouri-based American National Red Cross and Nashville-based Upperline Health, Inc. None have appeared to have issued any public statements in response to the notices.
Each repeatedly failed to respond to notices they received from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which oversees the state’s E-Verify system, the DEO said. The notices required them to provide a signed affidavit stating they were in compliance with the law.
The DEO letters sent last month instructed each company to provide it with an affidavit stating they “terminated the employment of all unauthorized aliens employed” by them inFlorida, and to confirm they “will not intentionally or knowingly employ an unauthorized alien in the state of Florida.”
They must also affirm they will fully comply with section 448.095(3)(b), Florida Statutes, which governs employee verification processes.
Failure to provide the affidavit to DEO by Monday will result in the suspension of their licenses and inability to do business in Florida.
In 2020, DeSantis signed a bill into law requiring private employers to verify a potential employee’s eligibility through the E-Verify system administered by the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or provide documentation USCIS requires on its I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form.
Private employers are required to maintain these records for at least three years after a person’s initial date of employment, the FDLE states. The law went into effect July 1, 2021.
It authorizes FDLE to request employee verification information from private employers and requires private employers to provide it upon request. It also instructs FDLE to notify DEO of noncompliant entities and for DEO to take action in response.
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Bethany Blankley is a contributor to The Center Square.
Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Florida Department of Economic Opportunity” by Michael Rivera. CC BY-SA 3.0.