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ATLAS:DIY BLOG

May 25, 2011
Georgia's New Anti-immigration Law Affects Harvesters.

It’s official. Governor Nathan Deal has signed Georgia’s new anti-immigration law, going into effect in July. Undocumented immigrants will be deported and law enforcement officers will be able to check the immigration status of people who they suspect to be in the state undocumented. The federal database, E-Verify, will also be in use to check workers’ immigration status. Undocumented harvesters in Georgia will be affected when the law goes into effect, as well as the companies that hire them.

Undocumented harvesters are considering leaving instead of risking being deported, like Sandra Almanza’s husband, who is an undocumented harvester from Mexico. Georgia’s farms will be strongly affected because crops such as onions are not easily harvested. There is a process that requires the care and protection of humans and not only the use of machines. Who else is willing to work in a farm field, under a blazing hot sun, like undocumented immigrants do only for a 38 cents bucket. That is why people are asking Toombs county Sheriff Alvie Lee Kight Jr. to show leniency. His family has a farm that is having trouble getting temporary visas for their field workers, leading him to hire local workers that don’t do the work.

I think that deportation should be stopped because that is not the way to solve this immigration issue. Like Kight said there as to be a workable solution. We need a better solution, to come to an agreement, not one that leads us to separate families or spread fear among our communities. We should look for a solution like the one Delbert Bland has found. He owns Bland Farm that is enrolled in a federal guest worker program that allows him to bring about 350 workers from Mexico for the spring harvest, legally. Bland Farms pays for their workers travel, housing, utilities and pays them above market wages, which he prefers doing instead of losing business.

click here to read article.

Immigration crackdown worries Vidalian onion county.                                                                                                      By: The Associated Press                                                                                                                    Published: May 20,2011

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