Florida, Felix Vega, Legal Correspondent discussed on PM Tampa Bay with Ryan Gorman
A news dot com This is p m Tampa Bay on NewsRadio Wofl A New year brings with it some brand new laws and 2020 no difference and take a look at some of the loss that went into effect on January 1st. Our legal correspondent Felix Vega joins me. I know you've been keeping a close eye on all of this, and I want to start with the big 11 that impacts businesses across the state. The implementation of E Verify. Yes. So differently now employers in the New year starting on January 1st. They have to use the Federal Eve Eric Fi system to verify the immigration status of all new hires and new employees. And the other option they have is they confounded form and send it into the federal government, which, obviously, that's gonna take More time, depending on the industry that the employers air in a cargo lot of controversy because, of course, the governor and the lawmakers that push this through. They said it was to crack down on illegal immigrants taking jobs away from Floridians. The A C L U another civil rights groups and immigration rights group says you're unfairly targeting people that are probably that may be here on a visa. A green card. Some other means that they came into the country and you are unfairly excluding them from the workforce when they've been working. In these industries before, so the big ones that it's really affecting would be tourism, although the tourism industry is down right now, but the agriculture market That is what's huge. There they drive. They really rely on immigrants who come over here and I know from my friends that on a tree farm down in Ruskin, you know they have to verify that they have a social security number or they have the proper documentation to be here. Not necessarily that they're a citizen, or they're staying long term. So that's already something that businesses were really having to deal, especially the farming and agriculture industry. So now there's a concern that you know these are jobs that people like you and may normally would not take. And so that's why the farmers and the agriculture owners They rely on immigrants to take these hard labor jobs and they're all seasonal. Then you have the summer growing season. You have different crops blooming in the winter time. So that's the biggest hit. It's going to take for now And then once the tourism and just she starts up again, you're going to see another Basically a shortage of workers. They're gonna be able to do hospitality jobs that other people may not want. The business community was not in favor of the passing of this law. But one thing I kept saying was Republican Party have been really focused on illegal immigration for quite some time now and to me. They needed to go after the demand aspect of illegal immigration If they were serious about cracking down on that issue, regardless of whether or not you think it's the right move, if that's your position that we need to put it into illegal immigration than you can't just keep talking about deportations and border walls and things like that. You have to go after the demand part and that is what this does now. Is it 100% effective? No. And there were some aspects of this bill that will water down a little bit. But That's the point of e verify. It's going after the jobs that are typically taken by undocumented immigrants. But the problem is this is the flip side of that. Corning is like you were saying you have the agriculture industry, which is big here in the state of Florida, and they rely on those kinds of workers and I don't know. If enough Floridians who either have part time jobs or are working or whatever are going to flood into those jobs. If they become open, and if they don't then you really start to disrupt some major industries. Right, and you got to remember that these there's already you know, it's kind of like you think about human trafficking. There's already pipelines that are already in place where these businesses they draw these people from Not illegally. But it's a similar concept where you know the group of people that may work it. One farm. They tell their friends. Hey, we've got some jobs open here. You know why don't you come up and you know either, and they'll move around from, say, you all on the West Coast Like down in Naples. There's tree farming appear there's farming over in the middle parts of central Florida. You've got farming industry as well. So it's more like word of mouth that these people find their jobs. So it's not like there's a giant, you know, Job board posting for the farming industry online where people and couldn't go and look and apply for a job like they normally would so. The businesses are gonna have to do two things. One. See how they can in cruise increase recruitment, but also they're gonna have to contend with oversight because if the governor wants this program in place, which it is And who's going to be policing the business is to make sure that they're filing three year e verify request and also submitting documentation of necessary I also think when you when you implement something like this, and you're impacting businesses like this potentially could likely will then I think it's a good idea to offer up an alternative to where if you do have industries that are reliant on those undocumented workers and Americans aren't going to take those jobs and run with them and fill those positions that there is a pathway for businesses to be able to get the workers they need. But do it where it's better documented, and it's an overall better set up then some of what we have now where You have people living in the shadows and all of that, so there are bigger solutions that need to be part of all of this. When it comes to immigration reform that can make it work. What we're doing here is we're doing like Piecemeal things and and I think it's it's gonna be disruptive, and it's not really going to be beneficial to everybody involved. So again. This was a step where I can tearing Republicans. Talking about illegal immigration was such a major issue, but they never wanted to go down this road, too. The credit of Republicans here in Florida. They finally did. But now you have to deal with the unintended consequences of this law. And I think that's what we'll see. Play out. And then maybe you know some fixes will will come along not likely in this session because it's gonna be too early to get a sense of the real impact of this, but maybe down the road. Yeah, definitely. I think one. At some point, you'll see the law challenged by either some business groups or buy some, you know, and the A C o U R other immigration's right screwed down the road. All right. Let's talk about another new lawn again joined right now by NewsRadio Wofl, a legal correspondent Felix Vega running through some of the new laws for 2021. We have increased penalties for illegally passing a school bus, which is from what I've seen on the roads, probably a much needed law. Yeah, And so what they did with this bill is a dresses to concerns one when you pass a school bus on the side where the Children are not boarding years, obviously supposed to stop behind it when you see the sign come up, so that for the fine for that is going from 102 $100. Now you're in a situation where you drive around, depending on Street that the bus is on, and it's going to depend on the lane configuration. If you drive around the side where the Children are getting off the bus that goes from 200 to $400. So for example of your Live like another community where you have a cold a sack and you're trying to get out of your driveway and you drive. The bus is more in the middle of the street and you drive up on the grass to get around it, And that's the situation we're talking about, because they want to stop people from endangering these Children. They're trying to get off the bus and get.