Sponsor of tough Alabama immigration law unfazed by rotting crops

Associated Press
Immigration law author tells farmers: No changes
By DAVID MARTIN, 10.04.11, 12:52 PM EDT

STEELE, Ala. — A sponsor of Alabama’s tough new immigration law told desperate tomato farmers Monday that he won’t change the law, even though they told him that their crops are rotting in the field and they are at risk of losing their farms.

Republican state Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale met with about 50 growers, workers, brokers and business people Monday at a tomato packing shed on Chandler Mountain in northeast Alabama. They complained that the new law, which went into effect Thursday, scared off many of their migrant workers at harvest time.

“The tomatoes are rotting on the vine, and there is very little we can do,” said Chad Smith, who farms tomatoes with his uncle, father and brother.

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