A draconian law passed earlier this year has resulted in an exodus of illegal (and legal) immigrants from Alabama, and as a result, crops are rotting in fields on farms across the state. The solution? A return to chain gang days, reports AFP:
Alabama farmers have proposed using prisoners to work their fields to replace migrants who fled the state after it passed the country’s harshest anti-immigration law, officials said Tuesday.
The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industry officials met Tuesday in Mobile with farmers to discuss their proposal. A statement by the department said the meeting with the farmers was convened “to help solve the chronic labor shortages created by Alabama’s new immigration law.”
Known as HB56, the new law requires local police to verify the immigration status of anyone they have a “reasonable suspicion” of being in the country illegally.
The law touched off an exodus of mainly Hispanic workers who moved to other states because of fears of being deported, prompting complaints by farm and construction industry groups of a shortage of workers in one of the poorest US states.