May 24, 2011

Immigration Crackdown: Georgia Farmers Brace For New Immigration Law : NPR

(literally)"on the ground" look at the intersection of Georgia's immigration crackdown law, onion farmers and Mexican migrant workers. 

Georgia Farmers Brace For New Immigration Law : NPR: "Georgia is putting in place a new law aimed at cracking down on illegal immigrants, and many across the state are nervous. Businesses fear an economic boycott, the Latino community fears police officers will abuse their new powers, and farmers in South Georgia fear the law will hurt them dramatically.

Georgia is known for its peaches and Vidalia onions, the state vegetable. The specialty crop is produced in just a few counties in the rural southeast part of the state, where the soil is just right. ...

(Harvesting is) a labor-intensive process that machines just can't do because they'd bruise the delicate crop — a $140 million-a-year industry (so it) relies heavily on migrant workers for help. ...

"Our biggest fear is that because of the way the bill could be structured we won't be able to find enough workers to do the work that we need done in a short amount of time," says Aries Haygood of M&T Farms."

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