As of July 1, a new day has dawned for any Florida employer that employs 25 or more employees. A new, comprehensive immigration law recently passed by the Florida legislature and signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis has taken effect. That law, commonly known as Senate Bill (SB) 1718, will require covered employers to change the way they hire employees. The law mandates that every newly hired employee must be processed through the federal government’s E-Verify system and that the process must be completed within three days of the date of hire. By some estimates, Florida is home to about 800,000 undocumented immigrants and many work in the kinds of businesses such as agriculture, hospitality, and construction that would be impacted by this new law.

For those who are not familiar, E-Verify is an internet-based system that compares information entered by an employer from an employee’s Form I-9 (employment eligibility verification) against databases maintained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA). The function of the E-Verify system is to confirm that the candidate in question is eligible to work in the United States. The E-Verify system is free to use and works almost instantaneously to provide a conditional report on the employees’ eligibility to work in the United States.