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Georgia Agricultural Businesses Report Labor Shortages After Passage of State Anti-Immigration Law

by Van Le on 06/08/2011 at 1:43pm

abandoned field

Last month, Georgia passed one of the harshest new immigration laws in the country, despite vehement protests from interest groups all over the state political spectrum.  Faith groups rallied, immigrant students demonstrated, and businesses worried about the economic toll of such a law personally asked legislators to reconsider the measure.   

The law passed, and now—just a few weeks later—the Peach Tree state is already feeling some of the consequences. 

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today: 

Nearly half of the 132 Georgia businesses polled in a private survey this month say they are experiencing agricultural labor shortages. 

And of those who reported shortages to the Georgia Agribusiness Council, more than a third said immigrants are concerned about the state’s new anti-illegal immigration law.

The council started doing the survey after farmers complained the new law is scaring migrant farmworkers away from Georgia and putting hundreds of millions of dollars in crops at risk. [emphasis ours]

It certainly seems like Georgia has shot itself in the foot—just as the US appears to be entering another economic slowdown, and just as global food prices are rising.

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