A report released Tuesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center says the federal guest worker program encourages employers to exploit foreign workers. There are about 11 thousand guest workers in Georgia.
The Senate Agriculture committee has approved a resolution urging Congress to allow states to administer their own version of the H-2A federal visa program that allows employers to bring in foreign workers for seasonal agricultural work.
State officials are eying a North Carolina coop program that makes it easier for small farmers to hire foreign guest workers. Many of Georgia's large growers already employ such workers. The program could help farmers who continue to say Georgia’s new immigration law has scared away migrant workers this summer.