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Some Alabama farmers cut back crops, citing illegal immigration crackdown

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ONEONTA, Alabama -- 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.

Some farmers lacked enough hands to harvest crops because immigrants fled the state after Gov. Robert Bentley signed the immigration law last fall, and some told The Associated Press they fear the same thing could happen this year.

"There's too much uncertainty," said Dickie, who farms with his brother on a ridge called Straight Mountain, about 40 miles northeast of Birmingham.

On nearby Chandler Mountain, another prime farming area, Jimmy Miller said he cut back on produce because of possible labor shortages and instead planted more cotton and peanuts, which can both be harvested by big machines called combines that require minimal labor.

It's unclear how many farmers are changing their planting patterns this year because of the law and whether consumers might see food shortages on the produce aisle at supermarkets. Some growers say they aren't making any changes from years past, and neither the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries nor the Alabama Farmers Federation has compiled statistics yet for the year.

But Mac Higginbotham, an expert with the federation, said this growing season is important for the state's farmers, about 1,100 of whom grow labor-intensive produce.

"I think this year will really show how much of a labor shortage is actually out there and it will reflect in the produce availability (and) prices eventually," he said.

State agriculture officials said the law has created chronic labor shortages since it was passed last year by the Republican-controlled Legislature, where sponsors said they wanted to drive illegal immigrants from the state by making it difficult for them to live in Alabama.

Aside from requiring all employers to register with a federal citizenship-verification system called E-Verify, the law barred residents from conducting basic business transactions if they lacked citizenship papers and required schools to check the citizenship status of new students.

http://blog.al.com/w...s_cut_back.html

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Alabama's jobless rate in March was 7.3 percent, down 2 percentage points from a year earlier.

There should not be any labor shortage. There are plenty of tomato pickers if the unemployment office did its job.


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Alabama's jobless rate in March was 7.3 percent, down 2 percentage points from a year earlier.

There should not be any labor shortage. There are plenty of tomato pickers if the unemployment office did its job.

I think the employers see it differently. Read the article.

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Of course. This is what happens when states have to do what the Feds should do. Uneven enforcement proves two things...

1. The illegals self deport when strict rules are imposed

2. When they are gone the employers will have to pay more to employ Americans and provide them benefits in order to retain workers. Big surprise. That IS the idea of worker protection laws. Produce will increase in price.

Alabama is a good example that the problem CAN be solved easily, but we MUSt have uniform strict enforcement of existing laws regarding employment

Perfect example Steven, thank you.


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Screw the farmers...seriously. They get subsidies left and right, they use illegal labor and they b*tch about everything. Let them take their dog and pony show to China or India but I'm tired of their #######. When they want to pay their own way then let them come back here and farm, but until then they can go to Mars for all I care.


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punks. pissheads. stupid farmers. don't they know that able bodied teenagers will take that job, if offered?


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Pay an adequate wage and they'll do it. Remember that Americans have lined up at every meat packaging plant that was raided by ICE to apply for those jobs that Americans supposedly won't do.

US farmers, like the ones in the south figured since they can't use slave labor after the Civil War they will just replace slaves with illegals. I say deport these farmers to banana land and let them farm there. They are un American if anything and deserve some time in the joint where they can read about US immigration and labor laws.


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"I want to take this opportunity to mention how thankful I am for an Obama re-election. The choice was clear. We cannot live in a country that treats homosexuals and women as second class citizens. Homosexuals deserve all of the rights and benefits of marriage that heterosexuals receive. Women deserve to be treated with respect and their salaries should not depend on their gender, but their quality of work. I am also thankful that the great, progressive state of California once again voted for the correct President. America is moving forward, and the direction is a positive one."

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US farmers, like the ones in the south figured since they can't use slave labor after the Civil War they will just replace slaves with illegals. I say deport these farmers to banana land and let them farm there. They are un American if anything and deserve some time in the joint where they can read about US immigration and labor laws.

That worked very well in Cuba, till Castro kicked out the farmers and ranchers, stole the land they actually paid for .


Sometimes my language usage seems confusing - please feel free to 'read it twice', just in case !
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:rofl:

We all know the pay for these types of work is sh!tty at best, but how can illegals survive on it while Americans complain that the pay can't stretch?

Who knows and who cares? Illegal is illegal. If these plantation owners want to keep breaking US immigration and labor laws by hiring illegal slave labor then give them the boot and let them farm in some 3rd world country.

Edited by Why_Me

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"I want to take this opportunity to mention how thankful I am for an Obama re-election. The choice was clear. We cannot live in a country that treats homosexuals and women as second class citizens. Homosexuals deserve all of the rights and benefits of marriage that heterosexuals receive. Women deserve to be treated with respect and their salaries should not depend on their gender, but their quality of work. I am also thankful that the great, progressive state of California once again voted for the correct President. America is moving forward, and the direction is a positive one."

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Americans are also more productive. They will pick the same amount of tomatoes in half the time.

That's very true !!


Sometimes my language usage seems confusing - please feel free to 'read it twice', just in case !
Ya know, you can find the answer to your question with the advanced search tool, when using a PC? Ditch the handphone, come back later on a PC, and try again.

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