As we said in entry nine, a surprisingly small number of illegal immigrants work on farms compared to white collar environments. Nevertheless, in agrarian states that have stepped up their anti-immigration campaigns, there were significant problems with harvesting crops. Even Georgian parolees couldn’t be motivated to take the jobs and $15 an hour wages couldn’t convince citizens to take it, or even $20 hour. That’s how hot and humid summers in those orchards could get. Mic.com tells us that as a result, in 2011 alone Georgian farmers lost $140 million on unharvested crops.
Still, that did not stop Alabama from passing a similar law. In 2012 the Washington Timesreported that the training costs alone for getting replacement farmhands lost farmers millions of dollars while Georgia struggled again, and many farmers simply chose not to plant crops. Not that these financial disasters prevented similar campaign promises from being a central point of the 2016 Republican presidential campaign.