THE VILLAGES, Fla. — In front of a large crowd of supporters at The Villages Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he would push lawmakers to pass legislation to make E-Verify registration mandatory.

  • E-Verify used to confirm workers eligible to work in the US
  • Florida governors, legislature has been trying to get this passed for years
  • COMPLETE COVERAGE: Florida Government Guide

He said it will help deter undocumented immigrants from entering the state, because there would be no jobs available to them.

E-Verify is a federal web-based system that allows enrolled employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States.

Florida Republican Party Chairman and State Sen. Joe Gruters of Sarasota accompanied the governor.

Gruters said some industries could be impacted, but it will benefit the state in the long term.

“Probably 40 percent of the jobs in agriculture and 40 percent of the jobs in hospitality are probably occupied right now by illegal aliens, and yes it’s going to be a drastic change,” Gruters said.

He said lawmakers will work to find out how to lessen the blow for the two industries.

E-Verify has been a holy grail of sorts of Republican immigration hawks in Florida. Gov. Scott promised to bring E-Verify to Florida when he first campaigned for the jobs. It never became a reality. E-Verify bills come up in the Florida Legislature, especially when there is a new governor, and then die quiet deaths and go away for a while.

Legislation in the Florida House and Senate failed to pass in the legislative session earlier this year.

Longtime FL Sen. Tom Lee of Brandon has introduced the E-Verify bill for next year's legislative session, which starts in January.