Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Georgia blames immigration law for farm losses

ATLANTA, Georgia — Leaders of Georgia’s vital farming industry blamed Wednesday a draconian new immigration law for labor shortages estimated to have cost the southern US state at least $75 million.

A study by the University of Georgia’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development found Tuesday that peak harvest employment would have been 12,930 but that there was a shortage of 5,244 workers in the fields.

The study did not explain the shortages but farmers said a new immigration law had scared off Hispanic workers who were now afraid of being deported to Mexico, with their children being left behind in the United States.

Georgia Immigration Bill 87, passed in the spring, empowered law enforcement officials to start deportation proceedings against illegal immigrants.................

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