AP wrote May 20, 2011, Immigration crackdown worries Vidalia onion county:
Signs point to an exodus in Vidalia onion country. Fliers on a Mexican storefront advertise free transportation for workers willing to pick jalapenos and banana peppers in Florida and blueberries in the Carolinas. Buying an outbound bus ticket now requires reservations.
While most states rejected immigration crackdowns this year, conservative Georgia and Utah are the only states where comprehensive bills have passed. With the ink barely dry on Georgia’s law, among the toughest in the country, the divisions between suburban voters and those in the countryside are once again laid bare when it comes to immigration, even among people who line up on many other issues.
Guess who wanted this crackdown even though rural south Georgians didn’t:
The crackdown proved popular in suburban Atlanta, where Spanish-only signs proliferate and the Latino population has risen dramatically over the past few decades. Residents complain that illegal immigrants take their jobs and strain public resources.That’s right: Atlanta, not content with lusting after our water, now scares off our workers.
Do immigrants really take jobs from locals? Such claims never seem to have data to back them up. I tend to agree with Carlos Santana:
“This is about fear, that people are going to steal my job,” Santana said of the law. “No we ain’t. You don’t clean toilets and clean sheets, stop shucking and jiving.”In south Georgia local people won’t pick Vidalia onions for the wages immigrants will, and the wages locals want the farmers can’t afford.
Remember who profits from this crackdown, at the expense of Georgia farmers and taxpayers: private prison companies and their investors.
We don’t need a private prison in Lowndes County. Spend those tax dollars on education instead.
PS: Vidalia onion story owed to Jane Osborn.