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Ala.: Inmates can replace Hispanic farmhands


Alabama farmers frantically looking for workers to replace those that have fled the state in the wake of its tough new immigration law should just stop by their local prison, according to the head of Alabama’s agriculture department.

John McMillan, commissioner of the Alabama Dept. of Agriculture and Industries, told the Montgomery Advertiser on Thursday that inmate labor through the state’s worker release program offers a short-term solution to the sudden labor shortage that has hit Alabama since enforcement of its illegal immigration law kicked in.

Some farmers have said the state’s new law has driven away Hispanic migrant farm workers — and without another potential labor source, they say produce may have to be left to rot in the fields.  

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by James Eldridge
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I used to work in agriculture harvesting fruits and vegetables when I was in my 20's. I loved it everyday. Those were some of the best days of my life going out into the fields at 6 AM picking fruit. Those inmates sitting around behind bars I would think would jump at the chance to be outside, working and returning to finish out their sentences. I know some people that have been to prison and each of them said they would jump at a chance to do some sort of outside work program. They might not even have to return to the prison every night, but stay in camps next to the harvest fields. I bet this would work well if it were given a try.  

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