TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida’s new immigration law is putting pressure on many business owners to ensure their workforce is compliant with state guidelines.

Several attorneys gathered in Tampa on Thursday for a panel discussion to examine the complexity of the law and what businesses need to do to be compliant.

The law, in part, requires businesses with more than 25 employees to verify their staff is legally allowed to work in the U.S.

“A lot of the businesses have left the state and moved to Delaware or moved to favorable states where they can practice and be able to do business without the fear of being audited,” said Merium Malik, a business immigration attorney in Tampa.

Malik is sounding the alarm about the stringent review process employers could face next year.

“The government is also going to be doing a lot of audits,” Malik said. “So, it’s not just talk, they’re actually going to be doing a lot of audits on businesses.”

However, supporters of the law say it acts as a catalyst for businesses to abide by the same employment standards.

“This is going to level the playing field between those who have been following the rules all along and those who have been breaking the rules,” Jonathan Torres said.

Torres believes that the demand to live in and work in the state will continue to strengthen Florida’s economy.

“Any business that leaves is foolish to do so because their competition is going to step right in and take that business for themselves,” he said.

Beginning July 1, 2024, state law enforcement agencies are authorized to perform random audits of businesses to ensure compliance.

Businesses would then have 30 days to fix any violation of face fines of $1,000 per day.