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Farming groups are worried that there may not be enough workers like this one, shown harvesting bell peppers, to bring in the winter vegetables after the government shutdown delayed the processing of visas for farm workers.

This month’s federal government shutdown caused a backup in seasonal farmworkers’ visa applications that some groups say could lead to a labor shortage during the coming winter vegetable harvest. Read more»

Passing an immigration reform plan that provides for a pathway to citizenship could create up to 123,680 jobs and boost the gross domestic product by $10.32 billion by 2014, according to a new study. Read more»

Much of farm labor is still manual, like the workers digging in a field here, increasing the demand for workers at short, specific times of the year.

Francisco Duarte stood in the sun with little shade or water for hours, waiting to pick lemons. But he never complained, because he was afraid he would be replaced by an undocumented worker willing to work longer hours for lower pay. He is among the hundreds of thousands silenced by a visa program that pits citizens, guest workers and the undocumented against one another. Read more»

Migrant workers from Mexico pick, core and pack lettuce in a Yuma farm field in this 2011 photo. Immigration policy has devastated the skilled labor force Arizona farms have relied on over the past 20 years.

With harvest season for many crops approaching, Arizona farms need workers to help bring the crops in. But immigration policy has made it harder to find the skilled labor force farms have relied on for 20 years. Read more»