Iowa business, community, faith and law enforcement leaders today warned that “enforcement-only” approaches to immigration could hurt the state and national economies, especially agriculture. “Welcoming immigrants is crucial for our economy in Iowa,” said Tom Hughes, president of the Iowa Nursery and Landscape Association.
The winter has brought a temporary lull in the farm labor shortage caused by Alabama’s tough immigration law, but the clock is ticking fast. John McMillan, the commissioner of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries presided today over a conference designed to help farmers find workers for their fields.
The AP reports that the agriculture industry is worried about enforcement measures like E-Verify, a flawed tool which would evaluate whether or not an employee is legal to work in the United States.
There are increasing signs of serious economic fallout from Alabama’s harsh anti-immigrant law, HB 56. There are growing calls, even from some GOP Senators, to change HB 56. The Anniston Star says repeal it.
Yesterday, former Republican congressman and current Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam criticized the harsh anti-immigration laws passed in neighboring states Alabama and Georgia, pointing out that the laws are already having real economic consequences and arguing that Florida show not follow this path.
Georgia’s law against illegal immigration is hurting restaurants and farmers by creating a labor shortage that results in lower sales, witnesses told a hearing Tuesday held by Senate Democrats.
Last night, on NBC’s “Rock Center with Brian Williams,” reporter Kate Snow did a segment on what Williams called the “huge controversy” in Alabama caused by the passage of HB 56. Snow’s report showed the dire impacts of HB 56 on Alabama’s Latino families and the state’s farmers.
Apple growers say they could have had one of their best years ever if a shortage of workers hadn’t forced them to leave some fruit on trees. Growers in Washington state, which produces about half of the nation’s apples, say the labor shortage was made worse by a late start to their harvest.
A scathing editorial in today’s Washington Post blasts Alabama’s new anti-immigrant law – and the failure of Congress to find a path to citizenship for the undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.
Farmers in Alabama are in revolt against the state’s over-the-top immigration law, which is designed to hound illegal immigrants so that they move elsewhere. As it happens, a substantial portion of farm workers there, as in other states, are undocumented. In the farmers’ view, the law is depriving them of steady, experienced labor — and threatening to deal a lethal blow to crops throughout the state.