US (TX): Immigration laws impact more widespread

California based Tanimura and Antle are ceasing harvesting their own onions in the Rio Grande Valley, though they are maintaining their packaging operations there.

70 employees have been put on redundancy notice, though they will be given preferential treatment for roles available in the packaging plant. The company says that its reasons relate to a high turnover of staff and bureaucratic wrangling with Texan authorities.

Yesterday Fresh Plaza reported on the impact of new immigration laws to agriculture in Georgia and Alabama - this story indicates that the effects are also being felt in Texas. Tanimura and Antle experience an 80% employee turnover rate in the Rio Grande Valley, where they have requested - and been turned down- the right to employ migrant workers.

The report on employee turnover corresponds to what growers have been saying in Georgia and Alabama - that domestic workers are not interested in this kind of work, or in the level of salary it offers.

The 80% turnover rate contrasts significantly with harvesting operations carried out by the company in Arizona with migrant workers, where the rate was less than 2%.

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