Governor Ron DeSantis signed a slew of bills into law over the last several weeks. For some, like the state budget, DeSantis held press conferences and photo ops.

When the governor signed a controversial E-Verify bill into law Tuesday, there was no such pomp and circumstance. Immigrant advocates noticed.

E-Verify is a federal system created by the Department of Homeland Security that checks a new hire’s eligibility to work in the U.S., an effort to prohibit the hiring of undocumented workers.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signs bill

More than 100 new laws will hit the books Wednesday from the 2020 legislative session, with issues ranging from expanding school vouchers to increasing fines for bear poaching.

E-Verify Opponents And Supporters Wait As DeSantis Begins To Sign Bills

Apr 25, 2020
Woman holding a baby
Cheyce Batchelor/Fresh Take Fllorida

She didn’t know how much the bus ticket was, but she knew it was her only option.

Here Are 10 Big Issues From The 2020 Florida Legislative Session

Mar 21, 2020

Florida lawmakers finished the 2020 legislative session Thursday by passing a $93.2 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

two men talk, one with his hand raised to make a point
Florida House of Representatives

House Speaker José Oliva on Saturday blasted a plan that would give Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration the power to randomly audit private businesses to ensure they are not hiring undocumented workers.

DeSantis Sides With Senate In Heated E-Verify Debate

Mar 6, 2020
Sen. Tom Lee listening

Gov. Ron DeSantis is backing the Senate in a heated fight over E-Verify, a move that could tip the scale in a contentious immigration battle as the 2020 legislative session draws to a close.

the florida house of representatives
Governor's Press Office

As the 2020 legislative session dwindles down to the final weeks, the Florida House has yet to consider an E-Verify proposal that is one of Gov. Ron DeSantis top priorities.

This has been a frustrating week for one of the Legislature's most outspoken members – Sen. Tom Lee (R-Brandon), is in his 20th year in the chamber, and the former Senate President has never been shy about his opinions. Lee recently spoke bluntly about being "run over" by fellow Republicans.

House Speaker Jose Oliva
Florida House of Representatives

House Speaker José Oliva said he is "open" to supporting an E-Verify bill that would meet the goals of Gov. Ron DeSantis, but expressed doubts about the Senate’s version of the legislation.

Midpoints can carry a split sensation of dread and relief.

E-Verify Sponsors Hope Changes Help Stalled Bill Move Forward

Feb 6, 2020

A politically charged immigration bill is poised to get a makeover that sponsors hope will align the measure with the position backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Republican Party of Florida.

A decade ago a fight broke out in Florida over whether to require businesses to use the federal E-Verify system to ensure employees are eligible to work in the United States. The solution at the time was an executive order by then-Governor Rick Scott requiring state employers use E-Verify. Now the idea is back: pitched by governor Ron DeSantis and it’s no less controversial than it was a decade ago.

Several southern states including Georgia and Mississippi have enacted similar laws requiring employers to check the immigration status of new hires. The state laws have become part of the national debate over immigration.

Previous efforts to get an E-Verify bill through the Florida Legislature failed, and leading Republican lawmakers were not fully behind the governor's position as the 2020 session began earlier this week.

Days before the beginning of the legislative session, Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez said DeSantis is "trying to fulfill one of his campaign promises."

Bill Could Provide Compromise To Controversial E-Verify Proposal

Jan 10, 2020

The Republican-dominated Legislature has long pushed back against requiring employers to conduct immigration background checks for new hires, but a bill filed Friday includes a potential compromise that could hand a win to Gov. Ron DeSantis on the controversial issue.

Senate President Balks At Governor’s E-Verify Proposal

Dec 15, 2019
Bill Galvano

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants all Florida businesses to use a system to prevent undocumented immigrants from getting jobs in the state, but a powerful Republican leader is pushing back against the proposal.


Speaking to a group of supporters at The Villages, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday once again vowed to require Florida businesses to use a federal system to check the immigration status of new hires.

DeSantis' Key Proposals Face Early Obstacles In Capitol

Oct 30, 2019
Gov. Ron DeSantis

Ambitious proposals by Gov. Ron DeSantis to raise minimum teacher salaries and require employers to verify the lawful immigration status for workers collided Tuesday with early concerns from Florida’s lawmakers.