MIAMI — “You’re not going to get an entirely American (person) to come out and do the work that we do,” said John Alger, C.E.O. of Alger Farms, Inc.
For over 40 years Alger has been in the farming industry, whose family owns over 1,200 acres of land in SW Miami-Dade. His employees do a variety of jobs “some tractor driving, some manual labor, it’s hot there’s mosquitoes, it’s an uncomfortable situation; not easy.”
Alger is not concerned about an aspect of the new immigration reform law that requires the use of the E-verify system to determine legal status, he says he hires – when necessary - less than 20.
Angel Leal, an immigration attorney in South Florida, told CBS News Miami the new system which will go in effect starting July 1st, “It’s for 25 or more employees and applies for new hires, not existing employees. You must run them thru e-verify within three days, if you fail to comply, you could be fine $1000 a day.”
“No matter what, people are scared, and they are leaving (the state of Florida) because they feel at risk,” said Judith Peralta, who has been working in nurseries in Florida for six years.
“It’s a very troublesome part of the law because it would disproportionately affect certain industries: agriculture, construction, yard work, hotels, restaurants and the service sector,” said Leal who underscores the economic impact the law will have in the state of Florida.
“I’m mostly concerned about my employees’ families, perhaps they have someone in his family who is not documented and they stay together as a family unit and they are going to be afraid of going to a hospital (another aspect of the new law which entails reveal the immigration status) so they might leave me even if they are fine (health wise),” said Alger.
When it comes to people who may say they are not farmers or do not hire undocumented immigrants, Alger does not hesitate to answer: “Good for them, get ready to pay more at the grocery store.”
CLICK HERE for the original article by CBS Miami.
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