The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), an office led by an appointee of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, sent letters to six Florida businesses, warning that their business licenses could be suspended for failing to verify that their employees are legally residing and working within the United States.
The DEO letters specifically flagged the businesses for failing to comply with E-Verify reporting requirements. E-Verify is a federal system established by the Department of Homeland Security that enables businesses to check that their employees are U.S. citizens or can otherwise legally work within the United States.
No federal law requires that businesses use E-Verify, but on Jan. 1, 2021, a new law went into effect requiring Florida businesses to verify that their employees are eligible to work in the United States.
On Dec. 16, 2022, the DEO sent letters to M.D.L. Property Maintenance, Inc.; American National Red Cross; Intelycare, Inc.; Prestige Cruise Services, LLC; Upperline Health, Inc.; and Scribe America, LLC, giving them a 30-day notice to comply with the E-Verify law.
The letters to the six businesses state:
“You are receiving this letter due to your company’s repeat non-responsiveness to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). If you persist and fail to respond to the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), there will be significant consequences.
“In other words, this letter serves as your final opportunity to respond before consequences are initiated.”
The letters also said that the businesses must submit an affidavit that they will comply with the E-Verify law, that they have terminated the employment of any unauthorized alien employees and that they will not intentionally or knowingly employ an unauthorized alien going forward.
“This affidavit must be provided to DEO within 30 days of the date of receipt of this letter,” the warning letters said. That 30-day compliance opportunity ended on Monday, Jan. 16.
The letters further warned that failure to submit the requested affidavit would result in the suspension of all business licenses specific to where any unauthorized alien worked, or any licenses the businesses have if they did not have a specific license for the location where any unauthorized aliens worked.
“The suspension of the applicable licenses will continue until your company provides the requested affidavit to DEO,” the letter warned.
Business records indicate M.D.L. Property Maintenance, Inc.; Prestige Cruise Services, LLC; and ScribeAmerica, LLC are all based in Florida.
Intelycare, Inc. is registered to operate in Florida but was originally formed in Massachusetts. Upperline Health, Inc. is also registered to operate in Florida but was originally formed in Tennessee. American National Red Cross is a national charitable organization.
NTD News reached out to each of the six business entities for comment but did not receive a reply before press time.