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Monday, May 30, 2011 - 5:26am

Deal Wants Farm Worker Shortage Investigated

Governor Nathan Deal has asked state officials to investigate labor shortages in the agriculture industry after the state passed a law cracking down on illegal immigrants.

Deal requested the investigation in a letter sent Thursday to Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black. He wants Black's department to survey farmers and report the findings by June 10.

Farmers have complained that a new law targeting illegal immigrants in Georgia has scared away migrant workers who harvest the state's fruits and vegetables. Many of those crops cannot be harvested by machine.

The new state law will require that farmers use an electronic database to verify their workers are in the country legally. It gives police the power to check the immigration status of suspects who cannot show an approved form of identification.

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