Florida Grand Jury Calls for Fee on Out-of-Nation Wire Transfers, Including Remittances

And contractors will be responsible for hiring only legal workers

By David North on November 30, 2023

A Florida statewide grand jury, an institution not known in many states, has called for tightening that state’s law on various facets of illegal immigration, including:

  • A 1 percent fee on out-of-nation wire transfers of money; a system often used by illegal aliens and drug dealers to send money back to the home country; and
  • Making general contractors and subcontractors responsible for their hiring of illegal aliens and removing the 25 worker (or fewer) exemption from the state’s E-Verify program.

Prior statewide grand juries have previously made other recommendations on related issues.

The statewide grand juries are in an entirely different category from your garden variety county grand jury (I have served on one in Virginia) that hears law-enforcement agencies’ requests to indict criminals. These operate for a month or two, and usually  rubberstamp what the cops want done. Their reports in some cases are no more than a paragraph long.

On the other hand, the Florida statewide grand jury is a massive research activity, as it reports:

We have now spent approximately 450 hours in session, and interviewed more than one hundred witnesses. ... We consulted experts in multiple fields. ... We watched hours of video, read stacks of materials now several feet thick, directed investigations and gave every effort to understanding, summarizing, and attempting to answer the questions posed to us by our [Florida’s] Supreme Court. This is our fifth report [which is 146 pages long].

My assumption is that the report was written by the lawyers associated with the panel and approved by the grand jurors.

One of its strengths is a long section on the international transfer of funds from Florida to other parts of the world, including detailed descriptions of how transnational criminal operations (TCOs) use them. (So do illegal aliens sending money to their relatives in the home country.) The report noted that these wire transfers amount to more than a quarter of the gross national product of several Central American nations.

The main recommendation of the grand jury was to establish a 1 percent fee on such transfers; Oklahoma, the only state that currently taxes these transfers, as we have reported in the past has a somewhat similar, but I think, a politically better formula. In that state, the fee is also a down-payment on state income taxes so the program’s boosters can say, honestly, that this is never a tax on tax-paying citizens. Florida, lacking a state income tax, does not have that option.

The other principal recommendation of the grand jury (on this go-round) deals with the nationwide problem of just who hires the illegal aliens that hold so many jobs in the state. Too often the principals in a business say that they obey the law; it is the contractors and subcontractors who are doing the hiring. The grand jury wants to make it clear that the contractors are among those responsible.

The whole report, the “Fifth Presentment of the Twenty-First Statewide Grand Jury” can be seen here. For another, earlier set of recommendations by this Grand Jury, see this posting by my colleague Andrew Arthur.