Last night, a Senate committee held a hearing on immigration in Gainesville.
One of north Georgia’s top businessmen – and former chairman of the National Chicken Council –addressed the lawmakers. A passage from the Gainesville Times:
Tom Hensley, president of poultry company Fieldale Farms Corp. that has locations in North Georgia, told the Senate Special Committee on Immigration and Georgia’s Economy that 287(g) already had a detrimental effect on the poultry industry in Hall County that would only be worsened by statewide legislation.
Hensley said despite using measures to ensure the company hired documented workers, the anti-immigrant climate in the state has driven the Latino workers he depended on away from his business.
“We were 67 percent Hispanic in 2004. Our turnover was 25 percent. Our workers (compensation) cost was $50,000 a month. Our health care cost for the whole year was $8 million. It was about that time that the federal, state and local governments let it be known that these folks are not welcome,” Hensley said.
“Fast forward to 2010, we’re about 33 percent Hispanic now. Our turnover is 75 percent. Workers comp costs are $150,000 a month. Our health care last year was $20 million. Those are staggering numbers, but that’s the economic reality.
“We need comprehensive immigration reform in this country. It has to be a federal program, not the state … you can’t have 50 different laws in 50 different states. I implore you, don’t pass any more laws.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider