Thursday, June 16, 2011

Georgia governor: Probationers could fill farm jobs - CNN

Georgia governor: Probationers could fill farm jobs - CNN

With Georgia's new law cracking down on illegal immigration only weeks away from going into effect, the state's governor proposed a new solution Tuesday for growers worried about labor shortages: hiring people on criminal probation.

Gov. Nathan Deal said in a statement Tuesday that he had asked the state's agriculture and corrections commissioners to connect unemployed probationers with farm jobs.

"I believe this would be a great partial solution to our current status as we continue to move towards sustainable results with the legal options available," he said.

Growers in Georgia have expressed concerns about labor shortages since Deal signed a law aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration last month.

The law goes into effect July 1, but already some growers say they've noticed an impact.

Grower Roscoe Hutcheson said no one showed up Tuesday to pick blackberries at his farm in Baxley, Georgia -- a labor shortage he blamed on HB 87.

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