After Immigration Crackdown, Alabama And Georgia Farmers Fear They Won’t Have Enough Labor To Harvest

As a new planting season begins, farmers across Alabama and Georgia are unsure if they will have enough labor this year when it comes time to harvest. Farmers have been struggling with a dearth of skilled farm workers ever since officials in both states passed harmful anti-immigrant laws that prompted many migrant workers and their families to flee. Some farmers are considering planting less or moving to less labor-intensive crops, and others are anticipating higher labor costs to attract workers. “Before this law [HB 56], migrant workers would just show up. They knew when they were needed,” said Brett Hall, Alabama’s deputy agriculture commissioner. “That’s not happening anymore.”