Two Florida counties - Orange and Lake - now require companies to new hires using the E-Verify system before awarding them a county-funded project. 

Orange County is the fifth largest county in Florida and the 35th largest county in the United States. 

"We don't want to take jobs from local workers who are legally able and willing to work," said Lake County Commission Chairwoman Leslie Campione, who pushed to add the E-Verify requirement. "This is a way to ensure that we don't become a magnet for illegal workers."

Orange County contractors have to put it in writing that they've checked their workers using E-Verify, county spokeswoman Laureen Martinez said. If they lie, they can risk losing the project and even be charged with a crime for knowingly making a false statement.

Orange County plans to check the county's new hires in the database starting later this spring or early summer. Lake County stared using E-Verify on its new hires last year.

Florida is one of 17 states that require at least some employers to use E-Verify. On his first day in office, Governor Rick Scott signed an executive order requiring all cities and counties in Florida to ask contractors to run checks through E-Verify if state dollars are being used for a project. A bill requiring all employers to use E-Verify, however, has died in the state legislature in each of the last several years.

Read the full story in the Orlanda Sentinel

state policies

Updated: Tue, Mar 27th 2012 @ 7:47am EDT