September 28, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Agriculture and Industries, Department of

Commissioner John McMillan's response to Judge Blackburn's ruling in the state immigration law matter


MONTGOMERY, Alabama—Commissioner John McMillan today issued the following statement concerning U.S. Dist. Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn's ruling in the state immigration law matter:


"Judge Blackburn's ruling essentially leaves in tact the law as it applies to agriculture and agribusiness in Alabama. It is time for state government to work with farmers and agribusinesses to first understand this new law and all of its ramifications. Next, we also must work to solve the severe labor shortage on our farms and in agribusiness facilities, now that many of the Latino workers have left Alabama.


"To this end, we are scheduling a series of three statewide webinars and inviting farmers and agribusinesses to participate. We hope to announce details of this soon. We are working with the Auburn Extension Service and its statewide network of offices in every county in Alabama to provide this important information.


"In addition, I look forward to meeting with state officials to determine how to reach out to unemployed Alabamians in an effort to fill the thousands of job openings in our agriculture sector. Hourly wages for these jobs are considerably higher than the state minimum wage.


"We have seen the enormous difficulties farmers, especially those in produce and poultry, have encountered as a result of the new immigration law. The economic hardship to farmers and agribusinesses will reverberate throughout Alabama's economy, as one-fifth of all jobs in our state come from farming. We must pursue every option available to assure our Alabama farmers have the workers they need to get their products to market and to provide Alabamians a reliable supply of fresh fruits and vegetables."


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Brett C. Hall

Deputy Commissioner

Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries

1445 Federal Drive

Montgomery, Alabama  36107

334-240-7101- cell 334-318-6081

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