Q&A - Is E-Verify A Key To Deterring Migrants In Florida?

U.S. Customs And Border Patrol Agents Patrol Border In El Paso, TX

Photo: Getty Images North America

Today’s entry: If the federal government will not enforce immigration policy and instead promote the free flow of illegal aliens into our country, then why can’t we do something on the state level?

Why can’t Florida begin to enforce the E-verify system? I believe that Governor DeSantis signed into law mandatory E-verify for state and local government offices but what about the private industry?  What haven’t our state representatives done anything to advance legislation for E-verify for private industry? 

Bottom Line: There are numerous challenges in breaking it all down. That’s because Biden’s border policy has significantly shifted the way those who seek to flout the US immigration system’s legal process go about doing so. Without getting technical you can look at it this way. It used to be that border crossers attempted to avoid Border Patrol. Now they line up to get processed by them. And the reason for that remarkable shift addresses the first consideration you offered up. You asked about what Florida could do to stem the flow of illegal aliens into the state. The border crossers who evaded Border Patrol are gone. These new Biden border crossers aren’t under federal law. 

While abuse of the US asylum system was readily attempted under the Trump administration as well, Trump’s policy to keep those seeking asylum status in Mexico ensured the only asylum seekers entering the United States were legitimate, according to the courts prior to entering the United States. The Biden border crisis has placed that in reverse. With migrants being allowed into the United States while seeking asylum status, once they’re granted a “notice to appear”, which occurs prior to migrants being bused to end destinations like Florida, they’re legitimized. 

They’re not considered illegal immigrants under federal law. Most likely will eventually be, based on asylum approval rates in which most recently 71.6% of those seeking asylum are denied by the courts, but until and unless a migrant who’s been granted a notice to appear is a no-show for their court hearing or is denied asylum by a judge, they’re legally authorized to remain in the United States. That impacts access to resources as well as addresses other aspects of your question. 

Non-profit organizations assist Border Patrol in processing asylum-seeking migrants. This includes arranging for legal documents, transportation to end destinations, and available government programs, including housing if necessary. A Center for Immigration Studies report indicated 63% of Non-Citizen Households are on welfare programs - ironically the largest of any demographic in the country. Most of those benefits are federal, as opposed to administered at the state level, thus it doesn’t matter what state they’re bused to in that regard. It also means all American taxpayers, including Floridians, subsidize these migrants. 

As of January 1st, Florida has a new E-Verify law in force. The law spells out different requirements for public employers and private employers. The law spells out these requirementsAs you can tell, the requirements are most restrictive for public employers, where the E-Verify system must be used. Conversely, the law allows for private employers to avoid the E-Verify system by in theory verifying I-9 information. 

State Representative Anthony Sabatini has filed a new E-Verify bill for consideration in the upcoming state session. Under Sabatini’s bill private employers would be bound by the same requirements as public employers. 

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Parler & Twitter: @brianmuddradio 

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