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Inmate Labor to Replace Immigrant Workers?

Alabama agriculture officials are considering whether prisoners can fill a labor shortage that the agency blames on the new state law against illegal immigration. The Department of Agriculture and Industries is meeting with south Alabama farmers to look at whether work-release inmates could fill jobs once held by immigrants.

Growing season is coming up, and some farmers fear most of their workers are gone. The agriculture agency says the new law has caused a chronic labor shortage on Alabama farms. State prison officials say the system has about 2,000 work-release prisoners, most of whom already have jobs.

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