"Lately it seems that Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples would rather have the Texas Department of Agriculture
become a wing of the U.S. Department of Defense than a Texas state
agency. Not long ago, Staples commissioned an $80,000 “strategic
military assessment” of the Texas...
"The impact of Georgia's illegal immigration law approaches nearly $150
million in losses, Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black testified Tuesday
WXIA-TV, Oct. 4, 2011 .
"What will the effects of Georgia’s anti-immigrant law be on the
state? It is true that putting an exact figure on economic losses is
difficult with the remarkable diversity of agricultural products,
seasonal cycles, and size and sophistication of farming in Georgia. But
Crops are rotting in the fields because farmers can't find enough
workers to harvest them. Even legal immigrants are not showing up for
jobs at construction sites and poultry plants because, agriculture and
industry officials say, they fear a hostile state climate. ... Smith said he has four...
"The stakes are rising and tempers are flaring in the immigration debate. As much of the agricultural community seeks to avoid a mandatory
E-Verify law without a suitable guest worker program for agriculture,
economists with the American Farm Bureau Federation, Washington, D.C.,
"E-Verify's opponents contend the system will destroy
agribusiness by driving up costs, shrinking the workforce, and wreaking
havoc on food production. When Hollabaugh hears a legislator
say E-Verify will save American jobs for Americans, "I just want to
throttle him," she...
"Farmwork is the worst combination of subpoverty wages; dangerous,
backbreaking work; and near-total absence of labor protections or
benefits. Few aspire to do farmwork, as Georgia’s growers just found out
the hard way. But the good news is, although most produce growers
"Jerry Spencer had an idea after Alabama’s tough new law against
illegal immigration scared Hispanic workers out of the tomato fields
northeast of Birmingham: Recruit unemployed U.S. citizens to do the
work, give them free transportation and pay them to pick the fruit and
all the companies in the state joining E-Verify, however, hundreds of
thousands have not, and agriculture is among the least represented
industries, according to a list of E-Verify users obtained by this
newspaper." - S an Jose Mercury News, Oct. 29, 2011 .
"Though the U.S. unemployment rate is stalled above 9 percent, business
owners such as Lemkes say few native-born workers are willing to do
tough jobs, leading employers to hire immigrants. 'Those who want to work fail to pass E-Verify, and those that pass fail to work,' he says."...
"[G]rowers say a federal E-Verify mandate would leave crops rotting in
the fields. It’s a scenario that’s playing out now in Alabama as sweet
potato season picks up in the wake of a restrictive state immigration
law passed in June. The rule is being challenged by the feds, but...
"ICE is focusing its effort on critical infrastructure, public safety and border security. In other words, agriculture isn't explicitly a priority for ICE. 'And they are right,' a vegetable farmer in Virginia said of ICE's approach. 'How much threat is some cucumber pickers?'...
"The effect of tougher immigration laws in Georgia and Alabama has been immediate. Georgia
economists estimate that their state lost $75 million from its $578
million agriculture industry as berries, bell peppers, squash,
cucumbers, watermelons and the state’s famed Vidalia onions were...
"Congress must make a national guest worker program that's easier for
farmers to use now that states including Georgia have passed laws
targeting [unauthorized] immigrants that threaten possible labor shortages in
the fields, Georgia's agriculture commissioner said Tuesday." ...
"There is little optimism Congress will sort out the politics of
immigration anytime soon, but Rodman met several times with officials at
the U.S. Department of Homeland Security about launching a pilot
program in Kansas. The idea is to place employers and undocumented
immigrants in a special...
"As the economy boomed in the mid-
2000s, many immigrants in southern California’s border country
spurned field work in favor of construction and food-service
jobs. Then they stopped coming to U.S. farms altogether. So Larry Cox, who farms lettuce, cantaloupes and onions on
"Here you have a man who is going around the country helping others on
the far right design laws to harass illegal immigrants out of the
country, and he seems entirely unfamiliar with the industries that are
going to be affected. On the other hand, it makes perfect sense that
such an extreme...
Tuesday 2/26/2013 - 2:00 p.m.
"Republicans and Democrats said Tuesday that farmers should be allowed to hire foreign workers more easily as Congress reworks U.S. immigration laws. But there was some disagreement on how it should happen. Lawmakers and witnesses at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing said the visa program that...
"Immigration legislation pending in Congress would create jobs in rural communities and increase exports of fruits, vegetables and other products, the Obama administration said Monday as it tried turn up the heat on Republican opponents of the bill. In a White House report issued Monday , the administration...
Gauging the Farm Sector’s Sensitivity to Immigration Reform via Changes in Labor Costs and Availability : "This report describes the extent of the farm sector’s dependence on undocumented workers and the political, economic, and social forces that shaped this growing dependence since...
H.R. 2642 / Public Law 113-79, Agriculture Act of 2014 , Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 649 TITLE IV--NUTRITION Subtitle A--Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program * * * SEC. 4015. MANDATING STATE IMMIGRATION VERIFICATION.
Section 11 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2020) is amended by striking...
"When Chuck Herrin, who runs a large farm labor contracting company, looks out at the hundreds of workers he hires each year to tend to the countless rows of asparagus, grapes, tomatoes, peaches and plums, he often seethes in frustration. It is not that he has any trouble with the laborers. It is...