Farmers share concerns with immigration policies with Gov. Brown - KPTV - FOX 12

Farmers share concerns with immigration policies with Gov. Brown

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Governor Kate Brown had lunch with members of central Oregon's farming community in The Dalles Friday.

Brown said she came to listen to concerns from farmers and others who work in the agriculture business. Issues that came up during the event included restrictive regulation and federal immigration policy.

Some members of the roundtable discussion were concerned about what the recent arrests and detentions of immigrants around the state mean for their harvest season, considering that area farms have to staff up to ten times the normal operations, in some cases.

The Dalles, in particular, has a large cherry harvest in June, and some growers are concerned that workers will not feel safe enough to come for the work.

“Are those people going to come?” cherry farmer Ken Bailey wondered. “Are they going to be able to feel safe moving from where they are, be it Washington or California, other parts of Oregon, to come to The Dalles to pick cherries?”

In response to the concerns, the governor said she has spoken personally with the Secretary of Homeland Security and was assured that immigrations agents are only targeting undocumented workers with criminal backgrounds.

For her part, Brown recently signed an executive order forbidding state employees from helping find or detain undocumented immigrants.

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