For the Global Thinker

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tensions Rise as Latinos Feel Under Siege in America's Deep South

As illegal workers flee the threat of police checks, southerners are uniting to fight the laws dividing communities and killing economies which rely on immigrants to thrive.


"The people that we normally hire are just not here," he said. That is bad news for somewhere like Uvalda, which is reliant on agriculture.
Morris knows that if the Hispanics who have left do not come back, there will be trouble. "The crop could rot in the ground," he said. That concerns Bridges, the mayor. "If we can't harvest, it will decimate this community," he said.
The problem is not unique to Uvalda. The Georgia Agribusiness Council estimates the labour shortage has left so many crops unpicked and rotting that it has cost $1bn. The industry currently has 30% fewer workers than it needs and, contrary to accusations that illegals take American jobs, no one is stepping in.

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