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Latino Daily News

Monday August 1, 2011

U.S. Farmers Opposing GOP E-Verify Mandate

U.S. Farmers Opposing GOP E-Verify Mandate

Photo: Proposed immigration legislation could cost farms their workers

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

It seems likely that Republicans will to lose the support of farmers, as their immigration legislation will cost farm owners a number of their workers.

Farmers are coming together to fight a bill sponsored by Texas Rep. Lamar Smith that would require all employers to use E-Verify to check the immigration status of those applying for work.

If required to do so, farmers fear they would lose workers, since many of them give false information when applying or after being hired.

Immigrants, mostly undocumented, work in the fields for low pay, and farm owners are worried that their workers will simply stop coming in, leaving crops unharvested and spoiled.

It is not just crops farmers are worried, the dairy industry would also be affected, as 1 in 4 dairy farmers are immigrants.

President of the U.S. Apple Association, Nancy Foster, said that if the bill were to pass, it would force farms to shut down, because there would be no one willing to work them at wages undocumented immigrants accept.

This bill has a good chance of getting through the Republican majority House, but the Senate is controlled by Democrats, and the bill is likely to see more hesitance.

Smith has claimed that this bill is a “jobs bill” and that undocumented workers are taking jobs from legal U.S. residents.