Written by Regan Kohler
May 4, 2011
The passage of a Senate bill Wednesday, May 4, could mean severe
penalties to staffing agencies hiring illegal immigrants.
SB 2040, a response to the Senate's immigrant overhaul
legislation, was brought before the Florida Senate late
There were three amendments to the legislation, one of which would
divest staffing agencies of their occupational licenses should they
hire illegal immigrants.
The other amendments include a $5,000 fine for every illegal
immigrant over five a company hires, and would preclude local
governments who hired these immigrants from getting public
The bill was submitted in March and modeled after Arizona's
Legislation. It mandates that career center staff "verify the
employment eligibility of workers referred to employers using a
federal program for electronic verification of
Agencies are also prohibited from providing benefits to certain
aliens, which also requires verification.
Another proposed amendment that failed at Senate level would have
required all state agencies to use E-Verify, an online system that
allows employers to determine whether or not a candidate is
eligible for U.S. employment. Any employer found hiring
undocumented immigrants would face a fine.
In what was considered a surprising vote, the Senate approved SB
2040 by 23-16.The bill must pass the House, which requires
two-thirds approval from the chamber.The odds are stacking up
against the House passing SB 2040. It is late in the annual
lawmaking session, not to mention the opposition the bill has faced
from the Democrats and legislative Hispanic and black caucuses. The
bill has been referred to as "draconian," as anti-immigration law
groups feel it supports racial profiling and harassment.
Florida's Hispanic Legislative Caucus Chair Rene Garcia said in a
press release issued Tuesday, "The Hispanic Caucus does not support
Arizona-type legislation that has the strong potential of profiling
a certain group of individuals and provides for warrantless
Are staffing firms aware of this potential new law? Celina Klee,
public relations manager for Labor Finders International, told
Staffing Talk her executives weren't familiar with SB 2040, though
staffing services are not required to register in Florida.
Tagged as: E-Verify, Florida Senate, Hispanic Legislative Caucus,
Immigration, Senate Bill 2040, Staffing