In the biggest sign yet that Beason & company over-reached on the immigration bill, the Alabama Farmer's Federation (ALFA) is starting to complain. And they're complaining in their monthly member magazine. The September 2011 Neighbors magazine has this lead story: “Migrants Flee Alabama's New Immigration Law“
“We may not even get to the point of E-verifying,” said Brian Cash, who grows tomatoes atop Chandler Mountain in St. Clair County. “From what we’re hearing from our workforce, they’re just going to move on before we get to that point. There’s not going to be (workers) to even try to E-verify.”[…]
Cash already has lost one-fourth of his workforce, and tomatoes that should have been picked are lying on the ground.
“This 38-acre field is (a loss of) about $50,000. At the time these should’ve been picked, Romas were bringing about $12 a box, but we didn’t have the help to pick them, so we had to leave them,” Cash said. “We’ve got to get them when they’re ready, and if you wait three days, then you’re out of luck. They’ll just do what they’re doing — sit here and rot.”
Paul Schlogel, a member of ALFA's public policy team, offers a suggestion to farmers and businesses affected:
Schlegel encouraged farmers to tell legislators how the new law is affecting their businesses in hopes state lawmakers will pressure Washington to develop an effective guest worker program.
“(Tell them) when the dust settles, if I can’t get the workers I need and get the crops out of the field, you will have done me a great harm, and I’m going to remember it,” Schlegel said.
While one of Alabama's biggest lobbying groups is getting restive, Republicans continue to double down on the immigration issue. AL-05 Congressman Mo Brooks, in particular, continues to whistle past the graveyard.
Last week, he took to the floor of the House to announce his opposition to President Obama's jobs bill. All we need to do, Brooks noted, is “evict illegal aliens” and that will fix the unemployment problem.
“…7.8 million illegal aliens hold jobs in America. Mr. Speaker, there is a surefire way to create jobs now for American citizens. Evict all illegal aliens from America and immediately open up millions of jobs for American citizens.”
Yep. There have been layoffs at NASA contractors in the Huntsville area recently. I'm wondering why we haven't seen news articles about those guys rushing to South Alabama to snag those prime tomato picking jobs?
Hey Mo! You might want to call Brian Cash and get some more information on that. Sounds like he's not exactly covered up with job applicants.
And consider the real costs here. That “$50,000” Cash lost on that one field is money he won't pay in taxes, won't spend in the community, and won't use to expand his business. The money won't multiply in the local community and help other local businesses. It's just gone.
Alabama citizens are losing because you and your GOP cronies are more interested in scoring political points with xenophobic rants than in actually addressing the real, pressing issues of jobs and immigration.
Every time I hear Brooks, Beason, etc. speak, I remember my great-grandmother's description of such folks: “If he had a brain, he'd take it out and play with it.”
h/t to Keatings Desk for the Mo Brooks “evict the illegals” quote.