Farms in Georgia stuck with fruit rotting on the vine as new law sends illegal immigrants out of the state

From Jay Bookman at Blogs.AJC.com

“After enacting House Bill 87, a law designed to drive illegal immigrants out of Georgia, state officials appear shocked to discover that HB 87 is, well, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia.

It might be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

Thanks to the resulting labor shortage, Georgia farmers have been forced to leave millions of dollars’ worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields. It has also put state officials into something of a panic at the damage they’ve done to Georgia’s largest industry.

Barely a month ago, you might recall, Gov. Nathan Deal welcomed the TV cameras into his office as he proudly signed HB 87 into law. Two weeks later, with farmers howling, a scrambling Deal ordered a hasty investigation into the impact of the law he had just signed, as if all this had come as quite a surprise to him.

The results of that investigation have now been released. According to survey of 230 Georgia farmers conducted by Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, farmers expect to need more than 11,000 workers at some point over the rest of the season, a number that probably underestimates the real need, since not every farmer in the state responded to the survey.

In response, Deal proposes that farmers try to hire the 2,000 unemployed criminal probationers estimated to live in southwest Georgia. Somehow, I suspect that would not be a partnership made in heaven for either party.

As an editorial in the Valdosta Daily Times notes, “Maybe this should have been prepared for, with farmers’ input. Maybe the state should have discussed the ramifications with those directly affected. Maybe the immigration issue is not as easy as ’send them home,’ but is a far more complex one in that maybe Georgia needs them, relies on them, and cannot successfully support the state’s No. 1 economic engine without them.”…”

Read it all here on Blogs.AJC.com

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Farms in Georgia stuck with fruit rotting on the vine as new law sends illegal immigrants out of the state

  1. So who is going to work the farms and pick the frit now?

    Milkmen USA

  2. The fruit. Who is going to pick it now?

    Milkmen USA

  3. tal

    All part of the plan to exacerbate the coming (engineered) food shortages, IMHO…

  4. JohnD

    Just an observation – Georgia’s unemployment has for over 40 months exceeded the national average. Currently it hovers around 9.8%. Shame that most of those people do not look at 11,000 open jobs as actual work. It has much less to do with illegal immigration than it does with the American citizenry who is thumbing their nose at good work they consider beneath them. I have friends who live in similiar areas who state that farmers are begging for workers, yet the ranks of the unemployed continue to grow. Sounds a bit illogical does it not?

  5. miguel

    I have worked picking fruit.The problem with that kind of work is that it does have a large impact on your health because these farms use a lot of pesticides and fungicides and the workers are often exposed to levels of these chemicals that cause immediate and long term health problems.Do YOU want to trade your health for money?

  6. Eileen

    I will work for you. Please tell me how to get in touch.

  7. Bill

    The white supremacists in the south deserve that. They cut their own throat!

  8. all these entitled , lazy, welfare people should be forced to go pick the harvest in order to earn the free money -people who think they are to good to do manual labor deserve to go hungry-

  9. tamra

    Upside – obesity problem solved! Next why doesn’t the Gov. roll up his sleeves and lead by example. Next why doesn’t everyone load up their 18-40 year old AMERICAN offspring (who don’t get up until noon unless it’s to party) to look for jobs! Finally how about APOLOGIZING to the people who have busted their butts putting food on YOUR table for years !

  10. Pingback: Making Ends Meet | Ashley Docherty

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