Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants his state to impose mandatory e-Verify, but there’s a major obstacle to his goal: Republican Senate President Bill Galvano.
Galvano opposes e-Verify because it allegedly hurts business. “I don’t support having the requirement that everyone (use) E-Verify. It’s putting an additional responsibility on non-government officials,” he said last month. He says the Florida Senate agrees with his assessment. [Florida Senate to oppose DeSantis’ push for statewide citizenship check for businesses, by Ana Cellabos, Tampa Bay Times, December 16, 2019]
His opposition to e-Verify may result in a neutered e-Verify bill. Another Republican state senator proposed a bill that would only require government agencies and contractors to use e-Verify; private companies would be exempt. This would make the bill virtually pointless. It’s primarily private companies who hire illegal immigrants, not the government. [Guns and immigration expose divides in Florida GOP, by Zac Anderson, The Gainesville Sun, January 20, 2020]
Galvano also wants to pass gun control measures this year and expand background checks in the state. He claims his priorities are motivated by “good policy,” not politics. Apparently, standing up for basic conservative principles is bad policy in his opinion.
Some prominent conservatives have rightly attacked Galvano’s treachery. “What is shameful is that we have Republican leaders in the state Senate who have already come out in opposition to Gov. DeSantis’ E-Verify proposal,” Rep. Matt Gaetz said in a recent interview.
Both Gaetz and Donald Trump Jr. criticized Galvano over his support of gun control and donations from Mike Bloomberg. Bizarrely, DeSantis defended the senate president from this warranted criticism. [DeSantis defends Galvano as Gaetz and Trump Jr. take aim, by Gary Fineout, Politico, January 22, 2020]
“Bill’s been a very strong supporter of a lot of great conservative policies,” DeSantis said last week. “He’s done a good job of managing the Senate and he’s a friend of mine.”
The Florida governor has done a good job so far, cracking down on sanctuary cities and supporting other promising measures. But to advance his America First agenda, he needs to wage war on the snake in his own party.