Many rural farmers are taking notice of HB 87 —Patrick Davis

Patrick Davis points out from Macon that HB 87 is producing Lowndes County farm employment problems, and maybe local farmers should take that into account when they vote.

Patrick Davis wrote, Rural Republicans in Georgia can’t have it both ways on immigration reform

With the law passed and ready for implementation, many rural farmers—especially in Central and South Georgia—are taking notice to the exodus of migrant workers and immigrants which has left some farmers without workers to pick crops.

Many of these same farmers that are hurting economically and losing crops in these rural counties had voted Republican for years.

Valdosta’s Ellis Black who represents parts of Lowndes County as a state representative helped to pass Gov. Nathan Deal’s conservative and punitive agenda and consequently it has contributed to drive an increasing number of migrant workers out of the Peach State.

Black has continued to justify his HB-87 vote and attempt to support Gov. Deal’s ridiculous assertion in regard to the use of probationers as a solution.

That last link is to Parolees to replace migrants? Gov. Deal says put probationers in fields by David Rodock in the VDT 15 June 2011, which included:
Local farmer Dee Ritter has never had much success with hiring workers from the U.S. Department of Labor.

“You would be out there babysitting and not getting anything done,” said Ritter. “It goes back to having a non-immigrant out there. They’ll stop and chitchat without working if they can. This proposal wouldn’t work; repealing the law is the only (thing) that will work.

“Probationers is certainly not the way to fix the lack of farm workers, unless they want to send out armed guards to watch them. The reason they’re on probation in the first place is because they weren’t working and they were out stealing or doing something else illegal.”

We already covered another part of that story in Gov. Deal celebrates Juneteenth by recommending indentured agricultural labor.

Patrick Davis continued:

WSB-TV had another story about a South Georgia farmer and had interviewed someone from Lowndes County’s Lake Park and he is set to lose tens of thousands of dollars in crops due to migrant workers being afraid to work for him and anywhere in the state of Georgia.

The new law authorizes the state of Georgia to check the immigration status of a suspect who doesn’t have any acceptable identification. Subsequently, it will lead to detainment along with being given to federal authorities.

This new law also targets people who are suspected in helping illegal immigrants either by transporting them or harboring.

Detainment, as in the ICE prison CCA manages, North Georgia Detention Center. Detains, as in perhaps in the private prison CCA wants to build in Lowndes County. So CCA can profit while local farmers can’t pick their crops. If the farmers themselves don’t get locked up for helping or harboring.

Patrick Davis also remarked:

Deal’s endorsement of House Bill 87 along with advocating to use probationers as replacements in the fields of Georgia farms crosses a line which jeopardizes Georgia’s economic future along with threatening to bring back the days of Jim Crow in the Deep South as a reasonable solution.
Well, we already have the new Jim Crow. When more black men are in prison, jail, probation, or parole than were enslaved before 1850, when six times as many black males per capita get locked up in the U.S. today as in South Africa under apartheid, when 1 in 13 adult Georgians are in the prison system and 85% of them are black, we already have the new Jim Crow.

What HB 87 does is to extend the new Jim Crow from black people to brown people. Oh, and to farmers who might help or harbor them.

Who benefits? Monsanto, drug gangs, and CCA. Nathan Deal has made a tiny step towards fixing the prison problem by saying the state needs to rethink locking up nonviolent offenders. We need to go farther and end drug prohibition. HB 87 is a step in the wrong direction. Probationers to replace farm workers is a step in the wrong direction.

We don’t need a private prison in Lowndes County. Spend that tax money on rehabilitation and education.