A farmer's perspective on Alabama's immigration law

Charles Durbin says he and his workers have nothing to worry about.
Charles Durbin says he and his workers have nothing to worry about.

CLANTON, AL (WSFA) - Well-known Chilton County farmer Jimmy Durbin feels his 40 migrant workers have nothing to worry about because they're legal, according to Durbin.

Durbin is more concerned about the law itself; how does it apply to him and how confusing is it going to be?

"I wonder how it's going to come out in the wash," said Durbin.

As a farmer Jimmy Durbin has had his share of challenges ranging from the economy to the weather.  The new immigration law could potentially be another big challenge to deal with, possibly more paperwork, more headaches.

"Anytime you have to spend time away from the farm is not good," Durbin said.

Parts of the immigration law make it a felony if undocumented workers are found working in a business like Durbin's Farm.

Durbin for one says he understands why lawmakers who supported the bill felt the need to do something. He has no problem with that but wonders if more time could have been spent crafting the law, thinking it out more, especially now the U.S. Department of Justice has filed a suit against Alabama, claiming the state violated the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Mike Hubbard said 'Alabama is going to have a strict immigration law and it will be enforced.'

Durbin, meantime, will get his chance to learn more.

The Alabama Employers for Immigration Reform is holding a series of seminars for farmers, informational meetings to answer questions and clear up any confusion.

"I worry about the people who have left. Mine haven't but that could be an issue in the food chain," said Durbin.

With more than 1,100 acres to care for Jimmy Durbin is among the lucky ones. Durbin hasn't lost any migrant workers due to fear and he wants to keep it that way, all the more reason he wants to dig below the surface of the new immigration law. 

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