Immigration Law Impacting Ag Sector

Sunday, November 4th 2007, 2:51 pm
By: News On 6

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) -- Oklahoma's new anti-illegal immigration law has some farmers and agricultural businesses scrambling for laborers as Hispanic workers fearful of being deported stay away from work. The law, which went into effect on Thursday, gives local authorities more enforcement options against undocumented workers and increases penalties against employers who hire or harbor illegal immigrants.

Chris Ellison of the Motley Gin in Hollis says he's worried about the future of his operation after he had to cut his labor force by 50% and cease ginning during the night shift.

In seasons past Ellison said he had 30 to 40 applicants for the seasonal jobs. Now, he's only getting about eight or nine per season.

Stopping the night shift, he says, will force him to work three to four weeks longer into the season.

For complete coverage of Oklahoma's immigration reform law, click here.