Employment Immigration, Family based immigration, Immigration, Q&A

May 3, 2023

Florida Legislature Passes S.B. 1718

Florida S.B. 1718, which I blogged about in this post, has passed Florida’s legislature. The bill was sponsored by Kiyan Michael, a newly elected GOP member of Florida’s House of Representatives. Representative Michael’s sponsorship of the bill stems from her 21-year-old son dying after a car wreck, the other driver being an undocumented immigrant, who allegedly had been deported on two prior occasions. While many are dubbing the legislation “anti-immigration,” fellow GOP Representative Berny Jacques defended the bill stating the bill “protects the people who are here legally and did it the right way. People like my family.”

Two of the most significant provisions of the bill that I found incredible were (1) creating a misdemeanor and invalidating driver’s licenses issued from other states and (2) refusing admission to the Florida Bar based on your immigration status. Additional provisions that employers in Florida need to be aware of:

  • Private employers with 25 or more employees must use EVerify for new employees beginning July 1, 2023;
  • The bill alters defenses for employers using I-9 form/EVerify;
  • FL Bill 1718 amends penalties for employer’s noncompliance to register and use EVerify such as mandatory reporting and suspension and/or revocation of employer license; and
  • Creation of penalties for employers who knowingly employ unauthorized aliens starting July 1, 2024.

If you are an undocumented immigrant, there is an entire network of immigration attorneys who are willing to help you. If you are an employer who relies on foreign labor, make sure you speak to an immigration attorney to make sure you are compliant with these new provisions.

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