Matt Gaetz Scolds ‘Weak-Kneed’ GOP Opponents of DeSantis E-Verify Plan

by John Binder 21 Jan 2020

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is calling out by name the Florida Republicans who are opposing Gov. Ron DeSantis’s hugely popular mandatory E-Verify plan to ban employers from hiring illegal aliens over Americans.

In November 2019, DeSantis rolled out his statewide initiative to pass mandatory E-Verify in Florida — putting the state in line with neighboring states like Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina. Mandatory E-Verify is supported by more than 7-in-10 Floridians, including 63 percent of Democrats and 81 percent of Republicans.

Following the roll-out, Florida Senate President Bill Galvano (R) voiced his opposition to DeSantis’s mandatory E-Verify plan — taking the same position as a series of billionaire donors who months before said that not giving jobs to illegal aliens would “devastate” the Florida economy.

Gaetz, in an op-ed for the Tallahassee Democrat, said Galvano and state Sen. Wilton Simpson (R) must stop choosing “big business — and big donors” over the will of Florida voters and the interests of Florida workers:

It’s time for Florida to make a change, too. Requiring the statewide use of E-Verify will curb illegal immigration while creating jobs and raising wages for Floridians. Most importantly, it will make the agriculture sector of Florida’s economy less of a magnet for those entering the country illegally. [Emphasis added]
Florida Senate President Bill Galvano, sniffing with derision at DeSantis’ E-Verify proposal, said, “It is something that the Florida Senate — or at least this administration — does not endorse.” His designated successor, agribusinessman Sen. Wilton Simpson, has been similarly opposed. [Emphasis added]

Republicans like Galvano and Simpon should not thumb their noses at Florida voters, choosing instead to pander to big business — and big donors. [Emphasis added]

DeSantis’s mandatory E-Verify plan comes a year after he successfully banned sanctuary jurisdictions across the state of Florida — a major victory for a swing state with more than 4.1 million illegal aliens, legal immigrants, and foreign-born naturalized citizens.

Since 2012, Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia have all implemented one form or another of mandatory E-Verify. In some of these states, like Alabama, all public and private employers must screen potential employees to weed out illegal alien applicants. In other states, like North Carolina, all public employers and government contractors are required to use E-Verify.

All of these states, except for Tennessee, saw their unemployment rate decline a year after implementing mandatory E-Verify. Likewise, when Florida, Louisiana, and Indiana implemented forms of mandatory E-Verify, all three states saw a decline in unemployment at a greater rate than the national average at the time.

Nationwide, mandatory E-Verify stands as one of the most popular policy initiatives. When polled, mandatory E-Verify unifies voters across demographic groups and party lines, garnering sometimes up to 80 percent support.