Florida’s new immigration law exacerbates ag labor issues
An immigration law in Florida that went into effect July 1 is already exacerbating the state's previously challenging labor situation, especially for the agricultural and construction industries.
The law — SB 1718 — includes a $1,000 per day fine for employers who repeatedly fail to verify employment eligibility and makes it a felony for unauthorized people to knowingly use a false identification to obtain employment. Non-compliant businesses are also at risk for the suspension of all licenses until the noncompliance is resolved.
Farm owners and construction companies that said the law has already diminished their workforce as migrant workers to leave the state, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Under the new law, if Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity determines that an employer failed to use an E-Verify system, the department must notify the employer of its noncompliance at which time the employer has 30 days to resolve the issue. If there are three violations in a 24-month period, the department must impose the $1,000 daily fine.