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SPLC Action Fund Statement on Florida’s E-Verify Expansion

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis yesterday signed into law Senate Bill 664, an expansion of Florida’s E-Verify policy. The new law requires Florida’s public employers, including municipalities, local governments, and any public school, college, or university, to verify the work eligibility for every current and prospective employee, including permanent residents. Furthermore, the new bill penalizes private employers who do not use it by prohibiting them from receiving economic development incentives.

The following statement is from Carrie Boyd, policy counsel with the SPLC Action Fund: 

“This law will disproportionately and discriminatively harm Black and brown immigrants and communities of color. Many employers will simply refuse to interview or hire immigrants in order to avoid potential conflicts with federal authorities.

“While this law does not mandate that private businesses use E-Verify, it prevents them from receiving economic development incentives. As a result, more employers will be utilizing the E-Verify database, which is known for its malfunctions. This will undoubtably deny thousands of authorized workers the ability to work with a meaningful avenue to seek redress.

“Moreover, this E-Verify expansion will further derail the health of Florida’s economy and make it more difficult for Floridians to earn a living. Amid the economic turmoil brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, this law is the last thing we need right now."