The state of Georgia recently passed strict immigration laws designed to crack down on illegal immigrants and in turn, caused concern about the effect on the wage and hour law in the state. The wage and hour law in Georgia could be affected from the lack of migrant or immigrant workers. These workers are generally willing to work for less money per hour for physical labor jobs than American workers.
The new laws would require state employees to crack down on illegal immigrants and strictly prohibit farmers and employers from hiring illegal immigrants. Initially, many immigrants that were employed on Georgia farms fled or went underground to avoid detection. There are still lingering fears from both farmers and workers, but the law has gone seemingly unenforced. It seems that the farming life has gone on as usual in the state.
After the strict immigration laws were passed, farmers expressed dissatisfaction to lawmakers that their employees had fled from the farms. American workers are generally not content to work for the same lower wages as migrant workers and the farms suffered as a result. Should the famers pay more for labor, the overall price of food would likely increase.
It appears that for now, the immigration law has not changed any part of the wage and hour law in the state. In fact, many workers that originally fled the state from fear of deportation have now returned to the state because of the lax enforcement of the laws. There are several loopholes in law for both farmers and workers.
Source: Miami Herald, “2 years after immigration laws, Ga., Ala., stable,” Kate Brumback, July 6, 2013