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Skelton: Immigrant workers need to be allowed to stay

February 21, 2013|By Los Angeles Times Staff

For California farmers, the use of undocumented workers is a fact of life.

"Bottom line, if I have to verify everyone, I’m not going to be able to harvest my crop," explains one farm owner, Mark Teixeira of Santa Maria.

When authorities clamp down, Teixeira and others can't get the labor they need to collect their produce. He said he let 22 acres of vegetables rot last year, and another farmer said he abandoned thousands of dollars of cherries.

George Skelton says in Thursday's column that California farms need changes in the country's immigration system that allow them to have a steady workforce.

"Workers would be here legally, able to move freely from farm to farm and able to cross back and forth across the border without worrying about being jumped by some federal agent," he writes.

All of Skelton's columns are here.

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