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October 2023, Volume 29, Number 4

Florida, Southeast

Florida state law requires most employers with 25 or more employees to use E-Verify to check new hires after July 1, 2023. One result is complaints of labor shortages from some construction subcontractors who said that some of their employees left Florida for other states because they fear that they or their relatives would be detected.

Arizona enacted a similar law in 2010, followed by Alabama and Georgia, but the Florida law is more expansive, not recognizing driver’s licenses issued to unauthorized foreigners in other states and making the transporting unauthorized migrants a violation of state law.

Florida has an estimated 770,000 unauthorized foreigners. The Farmworker Association of Florida sued to block implementation of the law, arguing that only the federal government can regulate immigration.

Governor Ron DeSantis, campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination, said he would authorize the use of deadly force against people crossing the border, end the practice of birthright citizenship, and send the military to strike against drug cartels inside Mexico. DeSantis also promised to deport the “six or seven million” unauthorized foreigners who arrived during the Biden Administration’s time in office.

Ex-President Donald Trump promised “the largest deportation operation in the history of our country” if he is re-elected. In FY13, some 432,000 foreigners were deported, the most in recent years.

South Carolina. FLC Enrique Balcazar of Nature Harvesting was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison in June 2023 for subjecting at least 55 H-2A workers to exploitative labor, confiscating their passports and housing employees in unsafe and unhealthy conditions.

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