Alabama, Georgia Farmers Plant Less, Fearing Migrant Labor Shortages

Last fall, Alabama passed a draconian anti-immigrant law that sent migrants, legal and otherwise, fleeing.  Road stops, reports from schools and landlords — anything to make life uncomfortable.  Even then there was opposition to the bill but as planting season begins the toll is becoming apparent.

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 Alabama’s tomato country didn’t have any choice but to reduce acreage amid fears there won’t be enough workers to pick the delicate fruit.

Alabama Migrants

…Georgia has a similar law on the books, and farmers there have had similar concerns about finding a work force to pick crops like Vidalia onions. Some farmers there have also said they were scaling back their acreage, fearing they wouldn’t find the workers to pick the crops.

In the foot-shooting contest, who will win?  Unlikely to be those who actually deserve the prize, the legislators who promoted the bill.  More likely the farmers who need the dependable, cheerful labor from folks willing the take the risks of seasonal labor to provide for their familes…

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