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Ag industry faces labor woes in immigration debate - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Ag industry faces labor woes in immigration debate

WASHINGTON (AP) - The agriculture industry fears a disaster is on the horizon if the one bit of new immigration policy that Congress seems to agree on becomes law.

It's a plan to require that all American businesses run their employees through a program that confirms each worker is legally entitled to work in the U.S.

The program, known as E-Verify, could wreak havoc on an industry where 80% of the field workers are illegal immigrants. So could the increased paperwork audits already under way by the Obama administration.

Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California says farmers are worried that their work force is about to disappear. They say they want to hire legal workers and U.S. citizens, but that it's nearly impossible, given the relatively low wages and back-breaking work.

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