Valley farms impacted by immigration law - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Valley farms impacted by immigration law

Susan Ayers, owner of Ayers Market in Huntsville, said many migrant workers have left area due to the state's tough immigration law. Susan Ayers, owner of Ayers Market in Huntsville, said many migrant workers have left area due to the state's tough immigration law.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Alabama lawmakers are debating a bill that could make the state's immigration law tougher.

Tuesday's debate calls to mind what impact the law has taken on local industries since Alabama's immigration law, often called the toughest in the nation, went into effect last September.

Susan Ayers, owner of Ayers Market in Huntsville, said many migrant workers have left the area and the local farms have noticed.

As for business at her market, Ayers said not much has changed. Shoppers streamed into her store on Tuesday to buy strawberries, tomatoes, and other fresh produce. The price of produce also hasn't taken a direct hit as a result of the law, according to Ayers.

She said she believes in the immigration law's merits, but wondered how farms will effectively harvest their crops.

"I know there are unemployed Alabamians here in the state but I don't foresee how these people can fulfill the migrant workers' position. I just don't see that," Ayers said.

Ayers grew up in a farm and said she saw first-hand that migrant workers are the best suited for farm labor.

In recent years Ayers said she buys her produce from the Amish community, about 80 miles north of Huntsville, in Tennessee.

Ayers said she does not think the immigration law should be repealed but said there should be some provisions to it.

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