Photo: Farm Workers
A large number of immigrants are fleeing Georgia as anti-immigrant legislation is set to be enacted. Gov. Nathan Deal has issued a statement that he is looking to fill vacant farm jobs with convicted criminals. The governor has called on the state’s commissioners of labor, corrections and agriculture to work together to connect unemployed probationers with a state agriculture industry now desperate for workers.
“I believe this would be a great partial solution to our current status as we continue to move towards sustainable results with the legal options available,” Deal said in his statement.
Georgia’s agriculture commissioner, Gary Black, released a survey this week that found state farm owners have 11,080 jobs they now need to fill.
The vast majority of those jobs pay $15 per hour or less and last between one and six months, Black’s survey found.
“This points to complete the out-of-touch perspective that some of our legislators and our leadership in this state have with regard to the current immigration crisis we are facing,” said Jerry Gonzalez, the executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials.
“The governor is really shortchanging on solutions for our number one industry.”