Unintended (or maybe intended) consequences of HB87 is putting big strain on Georgia's agricultural businesses. Every spring migrant workers, many of whom undocumented immigrant pick fruits and vegetables in Florida and then move to Georgia and farther north. This year because of HB87 many workers are not coming to Georgia, fearing police racial profiling and being prosecuted for using fake work documents (with fines up to $250,000 and 15 years in prison, same as murder).
The growers will find it tough to get fruits and vegetables off the ground before they rot. The growers are only getting between 30 and 50 percent of the work crews that they need to get the crops in, according to Charles Hall, executive director of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. This association represents mostly medium- and large-size operations in the state's $1.1 billion fruit and vegetable business.
The legislation is just pushing people away, legal or not. The law is starting to have wide-range economic negative impacts - with a loss to the fruit and vegetable industry, that could total 25 percent to 30 percent of the annual this season - a cut of at least $250 million.
These economic giants need to put some public pressure on the elected representative come next time and not elect them (I mean those who supported HB87).