Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a law to take agricultural jobs from illegal immigrants, only to give them to prisoners on probation.
Georgia farmers were surveyed last month regarding the job opennings they currently have due to the new immigration law being passed in April. The law empowered police to stop and check the immigration status of anyone they encounter. This has scared many illegal immigrants away from Georgia. Labor intensive crops like peaches and onions are most affected. The survey responded with 11,080 job opennings this year.
Gov. Deal requested the survey be done because he refused to make any decisions to his position about the new immigration law until he found some facts. However, the survey was, according to statisticians, unscientific and non-representative because of its voluntary nature.
The new law will take effect on July 1. Its strong stand on immigration will require later that farmers use the federal system called E-Verify to check the statuses of their new hires. E-Verify, however, is prone to error and may cause problems for people who are legal residents.
Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black is working, according to Governor Deal's provocative suggestion, to match probationers with the new job openings. In one of the written statements from Governor Deal, he said he believes that this is a partial solution to the problems of illegal immigrants.