Uh-oh. Apparently the crackdown on illegal immigration means Florida might not be able to harvest its orange crop.
Growers have reported difficulty finding enough workers. Industry officials say labour problems got worse in the middle of May, when a large segment of the Hispanic labour force seemed to leave the state.
They said reports of an immigration crackdown made it difficult to find Hispanic workers, who make up much of Florida's farm workforce.
Thing is, the reports seem to be false. Somehow, the Hispanic community has been hearing things that sure as hell haven’t been making it into the media I’ve been reading:
word had spread through the Hispanic community that they should return home if they wanted jobs in the US in future. The workers were told they could get deported if they remained in the country, he said. But if they returned home, they would become eligible for a guest-worker programme that is part of the immigration reform bill.
"In reality, the current guest-worker programme bars anybody who has been in this country illegally," Mr Carlton said. There are still tens of millions of oranges on Florida's trees, according to the US department of agriculture, one of the highest totals on record, he added.
So who started the rumor that sparked this mass exodus? It would be funny if it turned out to be a pro-immigration rights activist who figured out a fiendishly clever way to make Americans realize illegal immigrants aren’t really the cause of what’s been ailing us.