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Floridians  for  Immigration  Enforcement

When immigration is viewed only racially and culturally, limits and legality will never be imposed.  The debate must focus on limitations and lawfulness, otherwise open borders will make the United States a marketplace and not a country.

FLoridians for IMmigration ENforcement (FLIMEN) is a group of concerned Floridians advocating for immigration enforcement.  The group will also strive to eliminate illegal immigration incentives and will challenge the myths and pandering by elected officials and newspapers.  Please consider signing up for free FLIMEN Alerts.

The Story Behind E-Verify for Florida 2010

Update as of October 19, 2010:

Thanks to the concerns of several 9/12 groups, this FLIMEN Alert entitled The Story Behind E-Verify for Florida 2010 garnered the attention of Florida Senate President Jeff Atwater. 

FLIMEN has recently had several telephone discussions with Jeff Atwater regarding the failure of the Florida Senate to enact the E-Verify bill.  His response below acknowledges that the 2010 Florida Legislative Session did not go right for E-Verify and he pledges support for E-Verify during the 2011 Session.   Further, FLIMEN acknowledges that Jeff Atwater was instrumental in obtaining a commitment from a Florida Senator to sponsor the Florida Citizens Employment Protection Act for the 2011 Session.

FLIMEN offered to post Jeff Atwater's response which is available at: JeffAtwaterLetter.pdf

Please take the time to read the complete story of the effort to pass E-Verify in the 2010 Florida Legislative Session. 


Commendations to Representative Adam Hasner, Representative Sandy Adams and Senator Nancy Detert for exemplary performance in the pursuit of immigration sanity via E-Verify Legislation in Florida. 

Condemnation to Senate President Jeff Atwater who aggressively blocked all immigration enforcement legislation, notably a much needed bill to verify the legal status of new hires who would receive state funding.  Condemnation also for the slovenly behavior of Senator Jeremy Ring, Atwater's Lieutenant who successfully stalled all immigration enforcement legislation hearings.

Disappointingly from August, 2009 to March, 2010 FLIMEN sought Senate and house sponsors for the proposed Florida Employment Protection Act but no Senator or Representative would do so, wasting eight precious months that could have been spent promoting E-Verify.  Importantly this proposed bill was well written by IRLI so as to withstand judicial challenge.  The bill was simple and focused in that it contained only E-Verify, an employment verification program to address the illegal alien job magnet problem.  The bill contained both public and private E-Verify.  Public E-Verify requires contractors and subcontractors to state agencies to verify the legal status of new hires.  Private E-Verify requires all licensees of the state (e.g. contractors) to verify the legal status of all new hires.  Although 15 or more states have public and/or private E-Verify NOT ONE FLORIDA SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE would sponsor this excellent bill.


Many candidates have recently expressed vocal support for AZ SB1070.  This is better than opposition to AZ SB1070, but where were the AZ SB1070 supporters when sponsors for the Florida Employment Protection Act, which is mild compared to SB1070, were needed?  Where were these candidates when pressure was needed to influence Senate President Atwater?  Actions speak louder than words and louder than newspaper publicity. 

Several weeks into the 2010 Session and unable to find a sponsor, FLIMEN with the legal expertise of IRLI analyzed two bills already sponsored and filed.  One bill, HB421/SB856 was poorly written with constitutional problems and was quickly dismissed for FLIMEN support.  Another bill HB219/SB1880 included some distracting features and only public E-Verify but FLIMEN decided to support the bill about three weeks into the 12 week Session.

Thanks to lobbying efforts by FLIMEN Board Members Jack Oliver and John Parsons, Florida House Majority Leader Adam Hasner became an ardent supporter of HB219 and with skillful pursuit by bill sponsor Sandy Adams HB219 unanimously passed in the House 112-0.  Significantly ALL Republicans and ALL Democrats in the Florida House voted for HB219.


These dedicated elected officials deserve a great deal of praise from all Floridians.  If possible please personally thank them for their efforts.

Representative Adam Hasner
Majority Leader 2008-2010
33 NE 4th Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33483
Phone: (561) 279-1616                   

Adam Hasner gave his leadership and persistence to accomplish a 112-0 passage of the HB219 E-Verify bill during the 2010 Florida Legislative Session.

Representative Sandy Adams
2074 Winter Springs Boulevard
Oviedo, FLORIDA 32765-9347
Phone: (407) 977-4020  

Sandy Adams sponsored HB219 and gave her leadership and persistence to accomplish a 112-0 passage of the HB219 E-Verify bill during the 2010 Florida Legislative Session.

Senator Nancy Detert
Majority Leader Whip
417 Commercial Court
Suite D
Venice, FL 34292
Phone: (941) 480-3547

Nancy Detert sponsored SB1880 and gave her leadership and persistence but passage was thwarted by Senate President Jeff Atwater and Senator Jeremy Ring.


Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mention goes to Representative Janet Adkins and Senator Carey Baker for filing their bill HB421/SB856.

Honorable Mention goes to Representative Peter Nehr and Senator Rhonda Storms who assisted with bill drafting submissions.

Honorable Mention goes to House Speaker Larry Cretal for his invaluable support of HB219.



Now for the bad news.  Senate President Jeff Atwater from the very start to the very end clearly, without any doubt, blocked any and all immigration enforcement bills during the 2010 Florida Legislative Session.

Here is the evidence:

1) Senate President Jeff Atwater refused to meet with FLIMEN.

2) Senate President Jeff Atwater assigned immigration enforcement bills to a high number of committee stops:

A) Sure you can play, but you just can't win: (Click for St. Petersburg Times Article)

One reason the bill has such little hope of passage is that Senate President Jeff Atwater, who's running for chief financial officer, displays little enthusiasm in an election year for social wedge issues like immigration. He buried Baker's bill, sending it to seven committees, a legislative death sentence.

B) Illegal immigration measure appears least likely to pass Legislature: (Click for The Fine Print Blog)

A sweeping illegal immigration measure filed by Sen. Carey Baker, R-Eustis, could have the dubious distinction of being the legislation least likely to pass for the 2010 session. An analysis done on behalf of the Florida Tribune by LobbyTools shows that Baker's legislation -- SB 856 -- has more committee references than any other bill filed so far this year.

Baker's bill has been referred by Senate President Jeff Atwater to seven separate committees. The measure, called the "Florida Illegal Immigration Reform Act," has a number of provisions including requiring lottery winners to be citizens or legal residents, prohibiting cities and counties from adopting laws dealing with illegal immigrants, requiring public employers to verify citizenship status, and blocking illegal immigrants from attending public schools.

Baker on Tuesday joked that the bill was a "personal best" for him and that he has never had any legislation get referred to seven different committees. He acknowledged that there is no way for the bill in its current form to get through the Legislature. "As it is written, it would be impossible to pass,'' said Baker. "Our sessions don't last long enough to go through seven committees of reference."

3) Senate President Jeff Atwater assigned the immigration enforcement bills to his most rabidly anti-enforcement zealot committee chair, Senator Jeremy Ring as the first committee stop.

4) Despite a telephone, fax, and e-mail campaign by FLIMEN, FAIR and NumbersUSA, Senate President Jeff Atwater ignored citizens concerns over illegal immigration and the excessive costs to the state and he continued his ardent blockage.

5) Repeated attempts by Senator Detert and others to influence Senate President Jeff Atwater were rebuffed and Jeff Atwater continued his blockage.

Senator Jeff Atwater
824 US Highway 1, #210
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
Phone: (561) 625-5101                 

Jeff Atwater, despite campaigning as a legislator concerned about illegal immigration, aggressively blocked immigration enforcement bills in the 2010 Florida Legislative Session, notably a simple, greatly needed E-Verify bill to focus on the illegal alien job magnet problem.

Senator Jeremy Ring
5790 Margate Blvd.
Margate, FL 33063
Phone: (954) 917-1392

Jeremy Ring, Atwater's Democratic, rabidly anti-enforcement Lieutenant, refused to schedule hearings on all immigration enforcement bills and presented himself as a slovenly legislator with his offensive unfounded statements.

What makes the blockage of the bills by Jeff Atwater especially offensive is that he has campaigned as a pro-enforcement candidate.  Please view Jeff Atwater's Campaign Questionnaire:

Atwater Survey 2007, Page 1

Atwater Survey 2007, Page 2:

"We can no longer wait for the federal government to act. We must lead the nation on dealing with this issue."  

Jeff Atwater

Candidate Jeff Atwater promised to "lead the nation on dealing with this issue" but as Senate President Jeff Atwater aggressively blocked all immigration enforcement legislation, notably a simple and needed E-Verify bill.  How loud can you say HYPOCRITE?

Now back to Senator Jeremy Ring. At the Broward County Legislative Delegation Meeting on November 18, 2009, Tea Party activist Danita Kilcullen spoke on behalf of FLIMEN in favor of E-Verify.  After Danita's three minute speech, Senator Ring exclaimed "I am genuinely offended." and then left the hearing.  You are welcome to view the text of Danita's speech:

Broward Legislative Delegation

Do you find it offensive?  FLIMEN VP David Caulkett who resides in Senator Ring's district requested a meeting on January 3, 2010 to clarify what parts the Senator found offensive.  At this meeting Senator Ring was unable to elaborate that any part was offensive.  He also promoted the need to import more foreign high-tech workers.   In a totally unacceptable and slovenly manner Senator Ring said "I am not one of those persons who want to line up illegal immigrants and shoot them." meaning that FLIMEN wanted to do just that.  FLIMEN VP Caulkett grabbed the text of Danita's speech, said "I am genuinely offended." and stormed out of his district office.  Aide Paul Moore and another staff person were witnesses.  Within one hour Senator Ring personally called to apologize but an apology can never compensate for such a hateful, unfounded statement.

The main reason for exposing the crude, slovenly, anti-enforcement zealot Ring is that it cannot be a co-incidence that Senate President Jeff Atwater choose Senator Ring as the lead chairperson to kill any and all immigration enforcement bills.

About six weeks into the Session Senator Ring had not scheduled a hearing for SB1880.  When aide Joel Ramos was queried he give the excuse that "an intern had misplaced the bill" but promised to schedule a hearing for the next week, Week 7.  When the bill was not scheduled for Week 7 as promised, aide Joel Ramos gave the excuse that there was an unknown "technical problem."

It is abundantly clear to FLIMEN and it should be abundantly clear to Floridians that despite campaigning on a platform against illegal immigration, Senate President Jeff Atwater aggressively blocked a much needed bill to verify the legal status of workers.  With Florida's unemployment at about 12% and with illegal immigration costs estimated by FAIR at $3.8 million annually, Senators Atwater and Ring have allowed illegal immigration to continue virtually unabated.  Their political future lies ahead with voters who will accept or reject their callous behavior.

While E-Verify did not get enacted during the 2010 Session this attempt was the best progress over the past 3-4 years.  The 112-0 vote in the Florida House was a milestone.  With public support of AZ SB1070 between 50-90% and with many candidates expressing support for an AZ SB1070 style bill for Florida, the 2011 Session looks promising for some legislation.  At a minimum FLIMEN will continue to pursue public and private E-Verify for Florida during the 2011 Session.

After House Speaker Marco Rubio blocked six bills in 2008, FLIMEN Political Chair and chief strategist Jack Oliver astutely pointed out that it is the Legislature leadership who determine which bills will pass and which ones won't.   For the 2010 Session pressure will be put on 2011 House Speaker Cannon and 2011 Senate President Mike Haridopolos to make sure they too don't block immigration enforcement legislation.

A big thanks to the many activists throughout Florida who made calls, wrote letters, attended hearings and otherwise promoted immigration enforcement legislation.  Thanks to FAIR, IRLI and NumbersUSA for their support. Thanks also to FLIMEN Political Chair Jack Oliver who worked tirelessly and who as usual provided astute political strategy.  Special recognition also goes to new FLIMEN Board Member John Parsons who worked with Jack Oliver in our lobby efforts. Special recognition goes to new FLIMEN Board member Janet Renner who with three hours notice drove to Tallahassee to speak at a hearing.  With such dedication we will surely eventually achieve immigration enforcement legislation.

Respectfully submitted to all Florida citizens concerned about illegal immigration,
David W. Caulkett, VP, FLIMEN

June 11, 2010