What is in this article?:
- “Show me your papers upheld Monday.
- These kinds of laws make the labor shortage worse.
- Stringent immigration laws hurt ag, overall economy.
- “We can’t get domestic workers to pick cucumbers.”
The Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011, signed into law last May by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, cost the state more than $340 million dollars and more than 3,000 jobs, despite assurances from Deal that eliminating illegal labor would create 11,000 new jobs.
The American Civil Liberties Union sued last June to stop the law. On June 27, 2011, a judge granted a stay on two of the most onerous provisions: “Show me your papers” (requiring any suspected illegal to present documentation) and a provision that made it a felony to knowingly transport an illegal alien.
The “Show me your papers” provision was upheld by the 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta Monday. The provision that would make it a felony to knowingly transport an illegal alien will remain on hold.
Charles Hall, executive director, Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, discussed ramifications of this law as part of a panel on immigration reform during the Texas Produce Association annual conference in San Antonio.
He said that the effect the court’s decision will have on Georgia agriculture and other industries remains to be seen, but told the Texas Produce Association that if the law were upheld the state could be in trouble.
“We are going to have to wait and see what the reaction is with our migrant harvest crew community,” Hall told Farm Press. “I have not read the decision yet, so I don’t know the specifics, but I did hear that the person has to be involved in some criminal activity to have papers requested.”