Staffing Talk » SB 2040 Tightens The Belt On Immigration Laws

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 Tuesday.

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 contracts.

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 [eligibility]."

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 arrests."

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

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