Two years after Georgia and Alabama passed tough laws to drive away people living in the country illegally, the states' agricultural areas are still heavily populated with foreign workers, many of whom don't have legal authorization to be here.
Agriculture officials surveyed 800 farmers under a provision in the immigration law. Farmers said migrant workers began leaving last spring. Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said the report found that farmers had about $10 million in direct crop losses because of the law.
Two Georgia Congressmen have proposed a bill to overhaul a federal foreign guest worker program that many farmers use. The bill comes following labor shortages during the spring harvest, and it’s designed to make the program easier to use.
A group of state lawmakers is working on an immigration bill that is likely to mirror the controversial law passed in Arizona earlier this year. The move has advocates worried that the state’s economy could suffer.