Colorado Farmers Turn to Prisoners to Do Work of Illegal Immigrants - Local News News Articles National News US News - FOXNews.com JULY 20007
AVONDALE, Colo. — For generations, farmers in southern Colorado have depended on immigrant labor to work their fields.
But the new immigration laws in Colorado are some of the toughest in the nation, and now illegal immigrants are hesitant to come to the Centennial State.
Farmers say only half the normal number of migrant workers appeared this year, going instead to states like New Mexico and Arizona, where the laws are not so strict.
So the state came up with a plan to replace the illegal immigrants with workers from a different kind of home: inmates from colorado's overcrowded prison system.
The farmers pay the Department of Corrections $9.60 per hour per inmate, most of which goes toward paying for the guards, transportation and lunch. The inmates themselves earn $4 a day, which is nearly seven times the 60 cents a day they can earn in prison. And the money they earn will be waiting for them once they've finished serving their sentences.