Photo: Boycotting Georgia's Vidalia Onion
As the state of Georgia gets ready to kick off the official season for its beloved and lucrative Vidalia onions, others are worried talks of boycott due to the immigration issue, will hurt the season.
The Vidalia onion brings in $145 million a year to the state from sales across the country. Opponents of Georgia’s recently passed immigration law, HB 187 which is similar to Arizona’s SB 1070, are threatening boycott of all Georgia products.
The new law allows police to stop a ‘criminal’ suspect and ask them for proof of immigration status and arrest those in the country illegally. Employers with at least 10 employees will be forced to use a federal database to check the immigrant status of any new hiree. The bill is awaiting Governor Nathan Deal’s signature and would become law in July.
The Vidalia in order to be called that must be grown in a production area defined by law in Georgia and is the state’s official state vegetable.
The state’s agricultural commissioner is looking to see if the state can set up a guest-worker program to allow immigrants to work in the Vidalia fields and other fields legally . The farm business brings in $68 billion to the state and a statewide boycott of those products would cripple their economy.