POLITICS

New Alabama Law Targeting Undocumented Immigrants Brings Farmers, Lawmakers to the Table

**FILE** Workers pick lettuce in Salinas, Calif., in this June 4, 2007 file photo. The number of newly laid off people signing up for jobless benefits went up modestly last week, although the latest figures suggest employment conditions around the country remain good. The Labor Department reported Thursday, Aug. 2, 2007 that new applications filed for unemployment insurance rose by a seasonally adjusted 4,000 to 307,000 for the week ending July 28. That was a better showing than economists expected; they were forecasting claims to rise to 310,000. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)

**FILE** Workers pick lettuce in Salinas, Calif., in this June 4, 2007 file photo. The number of newly laid off people signing up for jobless benefits went up modestly last week, although the latest figures suggest employment conditions around the country remain good. The Labor Department reported Thursday, Aug. 2, 2007 that new applications filed for unemployment insurance rose by a seasonally adjusted 4,000 to 307,000 for the week ending July 28. That was a better showing than economists expected; they were forecasting claims to rise to 310,000. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)  (AP)

Farmers and Alabama lawmakers are seeking common ground over an apparent labor shortage, one agriculture officials blame on a new law that targets undocumented immigrants.

The growing industry is reporting that Latino workers are leaving the state, causing a dip in the labor force.

Farmers and state lawmakers are meeting on Monday to discuss this problem at a Good Hope restaurant.

Sweet potato grower Keith Smith says lawmakers rushed to pass the bill without considering the consequences. Smith told The Cullman Times that the farmers will meet with lawmakers from Cullman County and elsewhere to discuss their problems. 

A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of Alabama's harsh new law until she can decide whether the legislation opposed by the Obama administration is constitutional. It would require farmers to use a federal database to make sure their workers are in the country legally.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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