A Shortage of Mexican Laborers Threatens Arizona Farming In Photos

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Santiago Gonzalez, farming since he was a child, surveys one of the fields that make uphis 3,330 acres of farmland that he and his family own in the West Valley.

You might be surprised to know that Arizona is the nation's second-largest producer of head lettuce, leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, and lemons. Or that the state ranks third in the country in tangerine production.

Those numbers won't remain so impressive if labor woes continue. Laws in this state and across the country aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration are one of the reasons for the shrinking pool of field hands willing to perform the delicate yet back-breaking work.

While those measures don't aim to shutter farms, they certainly hit at the heart of an industry that relies on a workforce of mostly undocumented immigrants for seasonal harvesting...full story

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