Photo: Alabama Immigration Law Co-Sponser Tells Farmers Harsh Immigration Law Not Changing
Alabama farmers are being told that the state’s tough new immigration law will not be changed any time soon, despite farmers saying their crops are rotting in the fields because there is no one to work the fields.
Co-author of the law, Republican state Senator Scott Beason of Gardendale, has heard the pleas of farmers who are now without workers, but says they should not expect any changes to the law.
Monday, Beason met with dozens of growers, workers, brokers, and business people at a tomato packing shed in northeast Alabama who said many of their workers were frightened away by the enactment of Alabama’s new immigration law, which closely resembles the controversial legislation in Arizona.
Beason told those in attendance, “My position is to stay with the law as it is.”
As the law’s co-sponsor he claimed the immigration legislation would free up jobs for legal Alabama residents. The state currently has a 9.9 percent unemployment rate. However, there does not seem to be a lone of those wanting the agriculture jobs.
When farmers said they had no one to work their farms now, Beason came back saying the law would remain in effect “this entire growing season,” but that he would talk to his congressman about a federal temporary worker program for next season.
One farmer, Wayne Smith said, “There won’t be no next growing season. Does America know how much this is going to affect them? They’ll find out when they go to the grocery store. Prices on produce will double.”