For hardliners who refuse to consider a guest worker program for illegal immigrants, a moment of truth may be approaching. If undocumented workers are truly taking jobs that would otherwise go to Americans, then unskilled workers should be flocking to the fields of states like Arizona and Alabama, which have instituted draconian crackdowns on illegal immigrants.
Alas, it isn’t happening. The American Farm Bureau Federation recently estimated that labor shortages from state crackdowns on illegal immigration are costing the economy between $5 billion and $9 billion. In some states, farms are heavily dependant on undocumented labor both to plant and harvest crops. Now, they simply do not have the bodies to work the fields.