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E-Verify Bill Faces Tortuous Path Through Florida House Committees

The House bill to require Florida employers to use E-Verify in screening new employees' legal status faces a tough vetting process itself.

HB 691, authored by Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Port St. Lucie, has been assigned to go through four committees in eight weeks.

"It is not impossible, but all it takes is one committee chair to delay hearing the bill and it will run out of time. It appears three of the four are not going to be friendly," said George Fuller, a member of Floridians for Immigration Enforcement, which endorses the measure.

With the exception of Rep. Seth McKeel, the other three chairmen could be less than receptive to HB 691.

Rep. Denise Grimsley is a citrus grower, and agricultural interests have steadfastly opposed any immigration-control legislation.

Rep. Jimmy Patronis is a restaurant owner, and that industry has been equally resistant to tougher work force laws.

Rep. Esteban Bovo joined Democrats and 10 other Republicans last year to kill a bill that would have eliminated "Sanctuary Cities" (i.e., havens for illegal aliens).

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