Guest Worker Program, H-2A, Visas

Edgefield Farmer Defends Immigrant Workers

From WJBF.com, News Channel 6, Christine O’Donnell, 4 Jun 2011.

EDGEFIELDS.C. – A dozen immigrant workers help farming couple Clyde and Marilyn Gurosik harvest berries Saturday afternoon.

“They’ve been out here since 5:00 this morning,” Marilyn said.

Their guys are all legal H2A workers, here on visas paid for by the Gurosik’s.

“We’ve got to pay for their visa, their transportation, housing, electricity,” Clyde said.

The Gurosik’s have been farming for 35 years. They started using H2A workers a few years ago.

Clyde says he had a feeling the government would start cracking down on businesses that hire illegal workers and he didn’t want to lose his.

“We saw this coming several years ago we hired nothing but legal H2A workers, but it’s a very expensive process,” Clyde said.

“It saddens me because I see a lot of guys going out of business,” Clyde said

Currently South Carolina lawmakers are considering a new immigration law that will penalize those who hire illegal workers.

If a farmer is caught his business license could be revoked. Clyde says will hurt consumers in the long run.

“I believe with the current provisions for H2A workers that are very difficult that most farming will be shut down in this country and we’ll be dependent on imported fruit and vegetables,” Clyde said.

Without immigrant workers Clyde says chain grocery stores…will not have the quality produce they currently have.

“It’s the only way we can get this job done consistently every year the American people don’t want to harvest fruits and vegetables.

Clyde says the government is wrong to discounting all of the work men like the one’s he’s employed have done for the country.

http://www.growerslaborservices.com/h2aprogram.html

Source: WJBF.com, News Channel 6, “Edgefield Farmer Defends Immigrant Workers” by Christine O’Donnell, 4 Jun 2011.

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