ATLANTA (AP) -- Weeks after Georgia enacted a tough law targeting
illegal immigrants, it remains to be seen if recent complaints about farm labor shortages represent a wider problem.
Fruit and vegetable growers blame the new law for spooking migrant farm workers -- including many illegal immigrants -- from Georgia. The law authorizes police to ask about a suspect's immigration status in some situations. It will force growers to eventually use a federal database to verify that new hires are legal workers.
Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black is surveying farmers
to find out if they face labor shortages. He'll report his findings to the governor by Friday.
One U.S. agency no longer tracks farm worker data. Another conducts too few surveys in Georgia to draw state-specific results. The state labor department also lacks comprehensive figures.