Last week, this blog reported the story of nine workers who allegedly are undocumented that were taken into custody at the Lake Nona VA Medical Center. Now U.S. Senator Mark Rubio (R-Fla) is urging all businesses to be more proactive in checking potential worker's employment eligibility.
In the wake of the raid at the VA Medical Center, Sen. Rubio says that use of the federal government's online E-Verify program should become mandatory for businesses. Sen. Rubio says he supports mandatory use of E-Verify. Rubio says, "I think E-Verify can be done on a cost-effective basis. I think it should be part of enforcing our illegal immigration."
The Department of Homeland Security says that roughly 200,000 employers voluntarily participate in the E-Verify program, including more than 10,000 Florida businesses.
The federal government does not generally require private businesses to participate in the E-Verify program. However, businesses that perform contractor work with the federal government are required to use the E-Verify system to check the employment eligibility of potential new hires. An experienced employment immigration law attorney can assist companies with I-9 and E-Verify compliance.
Governor Rick Scott signed an executive order shortly after taking office in January requiring state agencies under his control to use E-Verify to check the work status of employees, contractors and subcontractors. E-Verify compares information in Homeland Security with Social Security Administration databases to help employers determine a worker's employment eligibility under U.S. immigration law.
State lawmakers in Florida reportedly may consider the issue during the upcoming legislative session. The lawmakers reportedly may consider proposals that broaden the executive order signed by Governor Scott to all state government projects, and possibly to all companies doing business in Florida.
Source: WESH Orlando, "Senator Urges Companies To Enforce Work Status Check," 18 Feb 2011