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OAK HARBOR, Ohio -- Northwest Ohio’s largest fresh-market tomato producer is shutting operations this summer, a move that will cost him millions of dollars, because he can’t attract enough migrant workers to pick his crops.
Toledo Blade 6/20/2013
It seems that racial profiling is not just an Arizona issue. Farm workers and other Latinos in Northwest Ohio complain about harassment from local law enforcement officers who "Don't have the authority to enforce federal immigration laws, but try to."
Toledo-founded Farm Labor Organizing Committee union President Baldemar Velasquez said, "“There’s a big chill over northern Ohio,” Mr. Velasquez said. “Nobody wants to be harassed or having to constantly be looking over their shoulder.”
Chuck Conner, president and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, reminds us that...
"Seventy percent of the agricultural work force, including the milk industry, is performed by an undocumented work force,” Mr. Conner said. “It’s a problem. Our work force is at risk.”
Northwest Ohio restaurants and grocery stores under contract with the tomato grower will now have to truck in tomatoes from other sources. Other areas have been affected as American fruit and vegetable growers from other states have decided to shut down as well.
These crop losses could cost farmers and the American public hundreds of millions of dollars and force the United States to import more food and vegetables.

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