Grower Groups Organize Protest of E-Verify

Society of American Florists (SAF) and Western Growers Association are joining the Coalition for Immigration Reform (ACIR) in lobbying Congress to scuttle the current version of the E-Verify immigration bill.

The group wants growers to visit their Congress members this week (June 27-July 1) and July 13 in Washington and at their home offices during the House’s July 4th recess.

The current E-Verify bill would require employers to check the legal status of all employees by running social security numbers against a national database. The growers’ position is that unless legal means are provided for migrant workers, then strict enforcement can cripple agriculture and horticulture.

In a letter to members [membership needed to access page], SAF mentioned Georgia’s pilot program to replace immigrant labor with ex-cons on probation. Georgia recently passed an Arizona-type immigration bill. According to SAF, two-thirds of the probationers disappeared within the first two days due to the physical demands of the job.

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3 comments on “Grower Groups Organize Protest of E-Verify

  1. I don’t know about the rest of the states but most of our employees are in a government type of system already in New York. Most of them get medical help or some other type of assistance. Why can’t the governments talk to one another and figure this out with out making the employers the police. Most of us are small businesses that do not have the time energy or funds to take on extra work that the government regulates. Someone in office needs to get a clue and get out of their lily white towers and get in the real world and see how things really work.

  2. As an industry, we can only be successful if we are allowed to break the law? That’s a pretty sorry position to be taking. I know the work isn’t always glamorous, but if we provide the right level of pay and benefits we can not only attract workers but build a more sustainable industry. Exploiting illegal workers shouldn’t be the solution.

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