October 7, 2011
Sweet potato farmer Casey Smith, right, looks at a nearly empty sweet potato field that needs cultivating in September on his father’s farm in Cullman, Ala. Normally, Smith hires some 25 laborers to help bring in his crop. Only five workers showed up on the day that Alabama’s stringent immigration law took effect.
Stories this photo appears in:
The federal government asked an appeals court Friday to stop Alabama officials from enforcing a strict immigration law that has already driven Hispanic students from public schools and migrant workers from towns, warning that it opens the door to discrimination against even legal residents.
Alabama’s strict new immigration law may be backfiring. Intended to force illegal workers out of jobs, it is also driving away many construction workers, roofers and field hands in the country legally who do backbreaking jobs that Americans generally won’t.