Florida Sen. Joe Gruters, who is also the GOP chairman of his state, is apparently getting cold feet on the issue of restricting illegal immigration and now refuses to commit to supporting E-Verify, only two months after he said he would do so.
“I want to hear what people have to say,” said Gruters, who was previously influential in getting legislation to ban sanctuary cities throughout Florida passed and signed into law. “I will try to make a decision soon on the tour and then will make a decision (on E-Verify).”
E-Verify would require businesses to check the immigration status of prospective employees and making sure they are legal before being able to hire them. Gruters had previously committed to proposing the E-Verify legislation, but is apparently reconsidering under pressure from corporate lobbyists.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce has long urged state lawmakers not to take action against illegal immigration, and instead rely on the broken and corrupt federal Congress to impose a national solution.
Florida Chamber spokeswoman Edie Ousley said last year that “our broken immigration system is a very real problem best solved comprehensively and conclusively at the federal level rather than 50 states each seeking a patchwork of solutions.”
“We look forward to working with the sponsors to help keep Florida’s businesses competitive, while insuring a lawful, safe, and productive workforce where Florida job creators are not unduly burdened,” Ousley added.
But not every Florida Republican is buckling to pressure from influential lobbyists like those in the Chamber. State Rep. Cord Byrd is standing firm on his pledge to file E-Verify legislation during the 2020 legislative session, and Gov. Ron DeSantis – who won his position largely due to President Trump’s full-throated endorsement – will champion the proposal.
“The governor is unwavering in his support for E-Verify,” said Meredith Beatrice, who works as a spokeswoman for DeSantis, in a statement.
The same battle is playing out in Washington D.C., where “America First” Republicans attempt to prevent their bought-off colleagues from colluding with Democrats to open the flood gates for unchecked immigration.
Immigration hawk Sen. David Purdue (R-GA) blocked S. 386 from moving forward yesterday on the Senate floor. The legislation, proposed by Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Kamala Harris (D-CA), would create a green card free-for-all for Indian nationals to give more cheap third-world labor to multinational corporations.
ROFL! Senator Lee not too happy that his America Last Big Tech Handout Bill S. 386 got blocked by Senator Perdue. pic.twitter.com/NZO8y75yOh
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) September 19, 2019
Lee has received substantial donations from Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Oracle Corporation, and Koch Agronomic Services during this election cycle. Lee’s legislation would allow Big Tech firms that employ many temporary foreign visa workers, many of whom are working with expired visas, to legitimize their abusive hiring practices.
While it is clear that the open borders lobby controls the Democratic Party, they also have a substantial foothold in the GOP as well. Florida is now a solidly red state, and if they cannot pass restrictions there to curb massive immigration, that does not bode well for the MAGA agenda anywhere else.
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