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Lack of Immigration Reform Leads to Hike in Food Prices

Univision Online, Posted: May 31, 2008

DENVER Strict immigration laws have scared agricultural workers from entering Colorado, resulting in higher food prices, reports EFE in Univision Online. The 15 to 30 percent cost increase for consumer staples in the last year owes to the state's "unfriendly" policies toward immigrant workers, according to Tom Lipetzky, marketing director of the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture. Gov. Bill Ritter also points to the harmful economic impact of "strict immigration laws" passed in July 2006. Colorado recently approved a temporary worker program to help farmers find laborers. But the law puts costs for transporting and housing workers on the backs of private industry, and only allows for 1,000 workers per year, 10 percent of the total job vacancies created since 2006. Also affecting the cost of food, Lipetzky says, is the increase in demand for ethanol, produced from maize, and the higher use of fuel and food in China and India.



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