State Ag Commissioner testifies before US Senate -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

State Ag Commissioner testifies before US Senate

WASHINGTON D.C. (WALB) - Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black testified Tuesday before a US Senate committee hearing called to address an ag worker shortage.

Black said the state has lost an estimated $150 million in part because of the state's new immigration law that scared away scores of migrant workers farmers depend on.

Black says the country needs a strong guest worker program that doesn't reward illegals.

"What people have been saying for years is we need a guest worker program that's administered at the federal level that actually woks. (we need) a program that is no way, shape, form, or fashion linked to amnesty or pathway to citizenship that just provides a work permit and a database," said Black via a phone conversation Tuesday.

Black supports the Harvest Act introduced by Senator Saxby Chambliss.

A federal judge put some parts of Georgia's immigration law on hold. Others went into effect in July.

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