E-Verify clears hurdle in House

Representative Cord Byrd , photo from myfloridahouse.gov

House Bill 1265, also known as the E-Verify Act designed to establish employment eligibility, gained considerable support during a State Affairs Committee meeting on Monday. The E- Verify bill presented by Representative Cord Byrd, a Republican from Yulee, advanced with a 17-6 vote.  

Although the majority of the representatives at the meeting supported the bill there were plenty of challenges that Byrd faced from different representatives who seemed to not understand the bill, needed more clarification or wondered how the bill would do what it claimed to do. 

The E-Verify Act would require all new hires in Florida to go through E- Verification. Employers are already expected to use E Verify but this bill will require them to do this for new hires and this isn’t just for public entities.  

According to flsenate.gov, this bill will require private companies to request E- Verification for employees. Private contractors are defined as employees under this bill and they too would be subjected to do E Verification. 

Those who aren’t included in the required E-Verification process would be a person who is contracted by an LLC. During the committee meeting, Representative Ardian Zika was one of many who needed clarification on the bill and who it would be affecting.  

“If a person is contracted by an LLC, do they have to deal with I9 or E- Verification?” Zika asked.

Byrd responded: 

“No, they would not be included.”

Byrd believes that this bill would stop what he defines as modern-day slavery. According to Byrd, human trafficking, labor trafficking, and sex trafficking represent modern-day slavery and the bill is an attempt to stop those crimes from occurring. 

“The bill is trying to end the lure of illegal labor trafficking, and sex trafficking,” Byrd said. 

The luring of illegal immigrants to work is what might have caused a Jacksonville mother to lose her son. Kiyan Michaels lost her son and is now pushing for something to be done about illegal immigrants, and she believes that E- Verification will help. 

  Michael lost her son to an undocumented immigrant who had been hired without requiring him to go through E-Verification. She isn’t sure if the individual had been lured to the United States to work but she says that the same jobs that illegal immigrants are working, black people would happily do. She disagrees with the notion that immigrants work the jobs that no one else wants to work. 

“That’s simply not true”, Michael said. 

She approves of E- Verification and says that it’s important that Florida requires E –verification. She believes that had this bill been in place her son would still be alive today.  

HB 1265 has been placed on the Special Orders calendar for Friday.