SC farmers say new immigration law may be bad for business

Published: Jun. 28, 2011 at 10:08 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2011 at 10:41 PM EDT
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FORT MILL, SC (WBTV) - Controversy in South Carolina after Governor Nikki Haley signed an illegal immigration bill into law.  Opponents say it opens doors for racial profiling, but others say it may be bad for business.

Ron Edwards at Springs Farm in Fort Mill is two months behind pruning peaches.

"I've had to drop back and not hire as many workers as I normally do," said Edwards.

He hires legal migrant workers under the H2A Visa program, but not with out a hefty cost.

"This is a new bill and one we haven't had the chance to look at and study and be trained on so we're real anxious to get some type of training to the officers as to what they are going be allowed and not allowed to do," said Sheriff Bruce Bryant.

"It's costing me 33 percent more this year than it did last year," said Edwards.

Edwards says now with the new immigration law will make it tougher to get good help to come to South Carolina for fear of harassment just because they're from Mexico.
"It's kind of aggravating because we've been playing by the rules and doing it right for 15 years and now we're going to get punished for all the people that have been doing it illegal," said Edwards.
The way the new law reads is any driver now pulled over will have their immigration status checked, but it can't be the reason you're pulled over.
Haley says quote the state can no longer afford those who don't come here the right way, and we are now going to do something about it."

Edwards says Nikki Haley may get what she wants in keeping illegal immigrants out of South Carolina but it may keep the legal immigrants out too.

"I've got all of this fruit to harvest and I can't do it with out them," Edwards.
And that may be would be bad for business.

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