Senate Republicans in Florida are blocking Governor Ron DeSantis’ efforts to implement E-Verify in the state.
Senate President Bill Galvano stated that he does not back a measure that would compel Florida’s private employers to use the federal government’s E-Verify system, which sees if new hires are legally able to work in America.
“It is something that the Florida Senate — or at least this administration — does not endorse,” Galvano said to The News Service of Florida in an interview on December 12, 2019.
Attempts to pass E-Verify have met roadblocks among the Republican establishment-dominated Florida Legislature for years.
Florida’s agriculture, tourism, construction industries, and major GOP donors have heavily criticized these policies.
However, DeSantis has made this proposal one of his legislative priorities for the 2020 legislative session, which begins in January 14.
DeSantis has become an “America First” Governor of sorts who has made immigration his primary issue as a gubernatorial candidate in 2018.
Although Galvano voice his opposition to a full-fledged E-Verify requirement, he left the door open for a watered-down half-measure.
“Let me put it this way,” Galvano stated. “I don’t support having the requirement that everyone (use) E-Verify. It’s putting an additional responsibility on non-government officials.”
The Florida state government recently banned sanctuary cities and is now looking to build more momentum on the hottest issue going into the 2020 presidential elections.
State Representative Cord Byrd, who is introducing an E-Verify bill in the House, argued in favor of E-Verify.
“I have been talking to members and listening to their concerns and trying to address some of those, so I don’t think the bill would look exactly like the one that was filed last session,” Byrd told the News Service on December 12.
“Immigration is one of the top issues with the electorate and we are limited at the state level with what we can do,” Byrd said, adding that E-Verify is one of the items under the state Legislature’s control.
Byrd argued that the system, if approved, would lead to higher wages because employers would no longer be able to hire undocumented workers for less money.
“Illegal labor impacts the wages of everyone and it drives wages down,” Byrd said. “As we talk about trying to increase wages in so many areas, this is one way we can impact that.”
On the other hand, E-Verify opponents argue that the policy would hurt Florida’s economy because businesses would allegedly struggle to find workers in a state where unemployment is low.
Tony DiMare, the Vice President of DiMare Farms, told the New Service that E-Verify could potentially bring the “state’s economy to its knees.”
DiMare, claims he told DeSantis about his issues with the policy and called it “disheartening” to learn that DeSantis has placed it as a legislative priority, even after talking to him.
“We have to hope that we can lobby against it,” DiMare stated.
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As Coronavirus Panic Reaches All-Time High, More Americans Plan Cruise Ship Vacations
This could make things drastically worse.
More Americans are planning on going on cruise vacations in 2021, hoping that the coronavirus pandemic will just be a forgotten memory by then, and they can once again go about their lives.
Analysts at UBS have reported that booking volume has “gone up 9 percent in the last 30 days versus the same time last year” for cruise ships in 2021. This is occurring in spite of the fact that the vast majority of cruise ships are quarantined during the panic.
“That includes people applying their future cruise credits from sailings that were cancelled this year, but still shows a surprising resilience in desire to book a cruise,” UBS equity analysts wrote in their March 31 release regarding cruise lines.
The report shows that most of the cruise goers hope to leave for Asia and Alaska. The individuals are signing up despite the fact that current cruise ships are still roaming at sea due to potential spread of the coronavirus.
Cruise ship attendees are now begging states to let them come onto their shores even though individuals arriving on shore could spread the coronavirus:
When Andrea Anderson and her husband boarded the MS Zaandam cruise ship in Buenos Aires, Argentina, more than three weeks ago, they didn’t know that their trip of a lifetime would disastrously coincide with a global pandemic that would leave them shut out and stranded at sea.
Unable to find a port willing to accept it, the ship has been stuck in a holding pattern for nearly two weeks as it desperately goes from country to country.
So far it has been rejected by Chile, Peru and Argentina, which all sealed their ports because of the coronavirus outbreak.
It is now charting a hope-filled course for the United States, namely Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“I don’t know if they are going to accept us. I hope they do,” said Anderson, 63, a fiber artist from Maineville, Ohio. “We need to get off this ship.”
Anderson and more than 1,200 other passengers are pleading with Florida to let them in, but officials, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, say the state simply doesn’t have the resources to take on an extra burden amid a growing health crisis.
“We cannot afford to have people who are not even Floridians dumped into South Florida using up those valuable resources,” DeSantis said Monday on Fox News.
Four people have died on the ship, at least two of them from the coronavirus, while nine others have tested positive and 179 more have flu-like symptoms.
“People are getting sick, and they need proper medical attention in a hospital. They cannot be treated onboard,” Anderson said. “The people on this boat, we are all someone’s parent, grandparent, aunt and uncle. The governor should think, ‘What if my mother was on that boat?'”
While DeSantis has expressed staunch disapproval of the passengers’ disembarking, the final say lies in the hands of the Broward County Commission, which wasn’t able to come to a decision Tuesday. The commission is waiting for clear and proper protocols for disembarkation by the cruise line.
Commissioners still have a lot of conditions to consider, a spokesperson said.
The public hopes that the pandemic conditions are remedied in the near future, but if they are wrong, they will put themselves in serious danger with their cruise plans in 2021.
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