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Immigration reform tops public policy issues for growers, packers

"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., have estimated...

Farmers Fear E-Verify Could Devastate American Agriculture

"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...

The High Cost of Anti-Immigrant Laws

"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 operate on...

Test fails to replace immigrant laborers with U.S. citizens in Alabama

"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 clean the...

More California employers (except growers) using E-Verify

"For 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 .

What is the risk of getting caught?

"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?'...

New immigration laws could hit farmers, drive up food prices

"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...

American Agriculture Outsourcing to Mexico

"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 3,500 acres...

White House: Immigration Bill Would Boost Agriculture, Rural Communities

"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

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...

Farm Bill Mandates Immigration Checks for Food Stamps

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...