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Field Maneuvers

November 05, 2011 (1 min read)

"[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 in the meantime, many fearful Hispanic workers – both documented and not – are staying out of the fields, leaving potatoes in the dirt. Though E-Verify applies only to new hires, Monterey County growers see Alabama as evidence of the fear that can drive workers away. 
 'We’ll do everything in our power to make sure E-Verify by itself doesn’t become law,' says Tom Nasiff, president of Western Growers Association, an Irvine-based lobbyist for California and Arizona farmers. 'If all we have is E-Verify without an agricultural fix, we’re in serious jeopardy of losing our workforce and all of our business, and moving all operations offshore.' " - Sara Rubin, Monterey County Weekly, Nov. 3, 2011.