With immigration law, tomato farmers fear for business

Steele, AL (WVTM) – An Alabama state senator who sponsored the new immigration law met with tomato farmers on Monday in Steele, Alabama.

State Senator Scott Beason heard from about 50 people at a Tomato Packing Shed. They told the senator they have no one to bring in their crops since the law went into effect last Friday. One farmer asked the senator why the law was not put into effect in January, when their crops are already in, instead of now when it is picking season and their investment has already been made. Many farmers believe the new law will put them out of business.

Tomato farmer Leroy Smith said, “Do not talk, do not put us out of business while your sitting there eating lunch you have got to realize we are feeding the state of Alabama, us farmers, the chicken growers, everybody, the beef growers, the tomato growers, the vegetable growers so you know if ya'll want to get hungry put us out of business cause that's where you are going, your going to be hungry.”

Beason told the farmers, “I understand some of the challenges the farmers are facing I understand that and I've said from the beginning there are going to be some bumps in the road and it's definitely going to be a challenge when your doing harvest time and hopefully one day the federal government will stream line some of their processes when it comes to temporary workers who come through like they used to do two or three decades ago, come through, pick those crops, move on to the next place where those crops are ripening, that's something I hope they deal with I told the farmers today I am in full support of the law we have passed.”