Daily VideoOctober 31, 2011
Alabama Immigration Law Spells Trouble for Farmers
Farmers in Alabama rely on immigrant workers for picking the produce they grow and send on to grocery stores around the country. However, Alabama’s new, strict immigration law has led most of those workers to leave the state in fear of being deported.
Although many in Alabama agree with the law and say immigrants are taking jobs away from citizens, some farmers say they are now faced with a very real labor problem. In some cases, fruits and vegetables are rotting in the fields with no one to pick them.
Although there are now technically many farm jobs available to American citizens who want to take immigrant’s places and pick produce, farmers say most Americans just aren’t prepared for the work involved.
“They ain’t durable enough, because they’re not used to doing that kind of stuff,” farmer Keith Smith said of American farm workers. “They come out and work two to three hours and: Whew. I have had it. I can’t take this anymore.”
“I just refuse to believe that Americans will not or cannot do these jobs.” – Senator Scott Beason, Alabama
“I have to go pick them up and bring them to work, and at the end of the day, I have to carry them back home, because even the ones that are here legally are afraid to be on the highway. They’re afraid to drive because they’re afraid they are going to get pulled over. You know, it’s racial profiling. They know exactly who to pull over, because they can tell by looking at them.” – Kim Haynes, sweet potato farmer
Warm Up Questions
1. What is an immigrant? What does it mean to be in the country illegally?
2. What is involved in farm labor? Do you think you would like to do that job? Why or why not?
3. What do you know about Alabama’s new immigration law?
1. Who do you most agree with in this video? Disagree with? Why?
2. Why do you think unemployed Americans are hesitant to do farm labor or aren’t necessarily good at the work, as the farmer in the video said?
3. What do you think can solve America’s unemployment problem?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
Use this PBS NewsHour video and discussion questions to teach your students about the events in Charlottesville. Extension activities include the history of Confederate monuments and the debate as to whether or not the statues should remain standing. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceSocial StudiesU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Today’s Daily News Story provides video, key terms and discussion questions to help teachers talk with their students about the events in Charlottesville, Virginia. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceSocial StudiesU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Montpelier, the home of James Madison, the fourth president of the United States, recently opened a new permanent exhibit at the Virginia estate to inform visitors about Madison’s slaves and the lives they led. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceSocial StudiesU.S.UncategorizedWorld
As high-density, industrial-scale livestock feeding operations become the norm, farmers have had to take extra steps to keep animals healthy. Illnesses and diseases grow and spread quickly when large numbers of similar animals are kept in close proximity. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceSocial StudiesU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Rose-ringed parakeets have multiplied by the thousands on the Hawaiian island of Kauai since the 1960s, when a few parakeets kept as pets escaped. The birds have since caused problems by damaging native plants and farm crops. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceSocial StudiesU.S.UncategorizedWorld