"A sponsor of Alabama's tough new immigration law told desperate tomato
farmers Monday that he won't change the law, even though they told him
that their crops are rotting in the field and they are at risk of losing
Associated Press, Oct. 3, 2011 .
"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.,
"Farmers with questions about how the state’s immigration law will affect
their operations will have an opportunity to learn more Friday through a
statewide web conference. ... “This law contains many provisions with stiff fines and penalties,”
said John McMillan, state 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...
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 .
"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?'...
"You have to be fairly observant to make it in a business that’s
affected by such fickle and hard-to-control phenomena as weather, bugs
and human population trends. Florida famers have seen what’s happened recently to counterparts in Georgia and Alabama and they’re scared —...
"When the law was passed, about 20 of Boatwright's farmhands — all of them from Mexico — left and his business was devastated. Boatwright
tried to hire legal workers, but of the 11 Americans he hired that came
and sought work, only one returned the for a second day of work. Boatwright...
"Some Alabama farmers say
they are planting less produce rather than risk having tomatoes and
other crops rot in the fields a second straight year because of labor
shortages linked to the state's crackdown on illegal immigration. Keith Dickie said he and
other growers in the heart of...
"AFBF will only support a mandatory E-verify program if there is a
workable solution for agriculture. Absent that solution, if E-Verify is
implemented, agriculture faces losing millions of dollars in
productivity due to labor shortages." - Bob Stallman,
President, American Farm Bureau...
"It is our preference to grow our nation’s food here, and having the labor required to do that is in the best interest of all Americans. As you put dinner on the table tonight, remember a large part of it is made possible by American farmers, ranchers and immigrant labor. Immigration reform...