In Georgia, farmers have almost everything they need for a successful early harvest, as squash, peppers and peaches are ready for market. But one thing's missing: someone to pick them. Fruit and vegetable farmers blame the state's new immigration reform law, saying it's keeping migrant workers away.
In a Newscast report, Melissa Stiers of Georgia Public Broadcasting spoke to Steven Johnson of South Georgia Produce, who says his crop is ripe on the ground — but there aren't enough people to pick it:
Migrant workers hand pick Vidalia onions in Georgia. The vegetable is too delicate to be harvested with machines.
Credit Kathy Lohr / NPR
Georgia is putting in place a new law aimed at cracking down on illegal immigrants, and many across the state are nervous. Businesses fear an economic boycott, the Latino community fears police officers will abuse their new powers and farmers in South Georgia fear the law will hurt them dramatically.
Georgia is known for its peaches and Vidalia onions, the state vegetable. The specialty crop is produced in just a few counties in the rural southeast part of the state, where the soil is just right.
Kia Motors' decision to add 1,000 new jobs at its auto manufacturing plant in West Point, Ga., is having a direct impact on the nearby town of LaGrange.
The 30,000 residents are proud of the community's small-town feel and its picturesque courthouse square, adorned with Christmas decorations. But there's at least one thing they can't celebrate: The unemployment rate for Troup County was nearly 11 percent in October -- higher than the national average.