Tougher immigration laws in Alabama and Georgia may be forcing more illegal immigrants into Florida. Farmers in Alabama say their migrant pickers have been abandonoing the state, since the new immigration law went into effect last week.
That may be just one effect of the new law. Farmers are also saying you can expect higher produce prices at your grocery stores.
Georgia, which passed it's tougher immigration measure last year, is already experiencing the drawbacks. Parts of Alabama and Georgia are harvesting tomatoes right now and many farmers say they don't have enough workers to pick the crops. They're having to hire legal workers, if they can find any to work. Since legal workers cost more than the illegal immigrants, you can expect prices to go up.
"This is the biggest mess personally we think we have ever seen in the life of our farm" says local tomato farmer John Alpin.
Congress wrapped-up their special hearing on some of the new state immigration laws Tuesday. Some lawmakers will introduce a new proposal next week that will provide "blue cards" to certain migrant workers, and their families, who meet certain criteria. It won't give them citizenship, but will allow them to stay in the U.S. and work for up to five years.