Archive for June, 2011
Will Lamar Smith’s Mandatory E-Verify Bill Do for American Agriculture what it has done for Georgia’s Growers?
Washington, DC – As the House prepares to move mandatory E-Verify legislation this summer, growers and business owners in Georgia are speaking up about the serious problems they are grappling with due to their state’s version of the law. As the drumbeat grows louder in Georgia, we wonder if the noise will reach Washington, where Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) is proposing E-Verify as an economic cure-all and the cornerstone of the Republicans’ jobs program. Unfortunately for Mr. Smith, and as Georgia demonstrates, the burdens, costs, and consequences of E-Verify for small businesses, the agriculture industry, and ultimately, taxpayers and consumers, are astronomical.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund, “Washington take note. Judging by Lamar Smith’s ‘logic,’ unemployed Americans by the thousands should be flocking to Georgia to line up in the fields to fill the labor void left by the experienced immigrant workforce that has fled due to the state’s law. Instead, Georgia is learning–through rotting food and higher prices–that short-sighted laws have consequences, that workers aren’t interchangeable, and that yes, in fact, immigrant workers are the backbone of our nation’s agriculture industry. As Georgia makes clear, mandatory E-Verify isn’t a jobs program, it’s an economic disaster of the highest order and a full-fledged assault on one of America’s prized industries.”
Will Washington listen to these grower voices from Georgia?
Rotting Crops and Loss of Experienced Workers:
· “What we began hearing in mid- to late May was many of our migrant workers, they were not coming to Georgia. Farmers are short on harvest labor 30 to 50 percent. You don’t have a whole lot of window — that crop has to come out or it’ll spoil.” – Charles Hall, executive director of the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Grower’s Association.
· “For these guys picking peaches across the state of Georgia, that’s their career. They do good work and you can’t find that quality of work anywhere else.” - Drew Echols, farm manager at Jaemor Farms in Alto, GA to the Gainseville Times.
· “It’s appalling, because they didn’t think through the implications, at the farm level. It’s like a witch hunt that tells immigrants: ‘we want you gone.” – Gary Paulk, sixth-generation blackberry farmer and former county chair of Gov. Nathan Deal’s gubernatorial campaign to Time.
Economic Damage to the State and Consumers:
· “Fruits and vegetables in Georgia were worth $1.1 billion. We could see a $200 (million) to $250 million loss, potentially. The consumer may or may not see a difference in price.” - Charles Hall, executive director of the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Grower’s Association.
· “A state survey released this month reveals the scope of the farm industry’s problems: There are as many as 11,080 farming jobs open in Georgia now, or about 14 percent of the full-time positions that are filled in the industry annually. Farmers are warning this problem could reach metro Atlanta as the labor gap could boost prices in local grocery stores.” – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting on the impact the law is already having on the state’s ag industry.
Costs for Small Businesses
· “In recent weeks, one-third of his 300 field workers have fled. His request for state temporary workers hasn’t been answered. Now, Paulk expects to abandon about 25% of his 125 acres, at a projected loss of $250,000 this season.” – Recent impact of law on Gary Paulk, sixth-generation blackberry farmer and former county chair of Gov. Nathan Deal’s gubernatorial campaign as characterized by Time.
· “Many of our farmers don’t have a human resources department … there might be personnel costs and loss of productivity. You have the person first, then you E-Verify. It’s a three-week period. If you fire an employee (before the period is over) you could get a discrimination suit. It’s not a good situation.” – Georgia Poultry Federation President, Mike Giles to the Gainesville Times.
America’s Voice Education Fund — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
The Texas Progressive Alliance is ready to say “Sine Die” for the second time as it brings you this week’s roundup.
This week WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the (in)action at The Lege. Quorums were broken and tempers flared, This week’s Political wrap-up, GOP laziness was the theme.
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Neil at Texas Liberal compiled a Fourth of July reading list. As fun as it might be to blow off your fingers as you set off fireworks in violation of drought-mandated brushfire rules, it is even more fun to learn about your past. If you allow others to define your history—as, for example, we have allowed crazies to take over the symbolism of the Boston Tea Party—such folks will most likely use this power to also screw up your future.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Have we mentioned that the Texas Progressive Alliance is ready for some rain to fall? Because we’re ready for some as we bring you this week’s roundup.
This week WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the Texas GOP’s latest health care scheme, House GOP OK’s following Oklahoma and Georgia into misguided health care compact.
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This week at McBlogger, we take a look at the Olympic-sized swimming pool of fail that is the policy section of General Sanchez’s website.
Neil at Texas Liberal posted a picture of a man wading in the waters of the Houston Ship Channel. No matter how bad a day you feel you’re having, you’re likely having a better day than somebody who feels they must wade into one of the most polluted bodies of water in the nation.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
The Texas Progressive Alliance is wishing — not praying — for rain as it brings you the week’s roundup of the best blog posts from last week.
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With all the talk last week about how Sarah Palin misinterpreted Paul Revere’s ride, Neil at Texas Liberal offered up a post about the actual event. You need to learn history for yourself. If you let others define your past, they will use that power to screw up your future.
Letters From Texas presented the case against Rick Perry for President.
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The Texas Progressive Alliance congratulates all of the new high school and college graduates as it brings you this week’s roundup.
This week extremist GOP state Sen. Dan Patrick referred to public education as an entitlement. WCNews at Eye On Williamson points out it is actually part of the Texas Constitution – Education is a right in Texas, preserving the liberties and rights of people.
At TexasKaos, libby shaw tells us Show Horse Rick Perry Fast Tracks Texas to Third World Squalor. Sad part is that she is NOT exaggerating!
Neil at Texas Liberal wrote about the recent death of Houston Police Officer Kevin Will. Officer Will was killed when struck by a car that was driven by a man who was allegedly drinking and, also, not legally in the United States. Neil wrote that incidents like this one leave people with a choice to respond with hate, or with a resolve to move forward with solutions to immigration concerns.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Here is the email I received today:
Thank you to all the Angels who made this possible.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )