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Monday, February 7, 2011 - 4:26pm

Farm Lobby Opposes Immigration Bill

A State Senate committee heard testimony Monday on a controversial bill aimed at curbing illegal immigration in Georgia. Among those testifying was Bryan Tolar with the Georgia Agra Business Council. He told lawmakers on the committee to tread lightly when trying to rid the state of much needed immigrant labor.

“When we talk about slowing down agriculture production we’re talking about slowing down rural Georgia in particular," Tolar testified in the hearing. " And that Mr. Chairman would be devastating to our state’s economy.”

Senators want farmers to use the Government’s H2A visa program to ensure all workers are legal. But Tolar says the program costs over $13 dollars per hour for each worker. That, he says is too much and only large farms can afford it. On Tuesday a state house committee will also hear testimony on another immigration bill.