Immigration Regulation's Local Effect - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Immigration Regulation's Local Effect

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- The Department of Homeland Security is cracking down on illegal immigrants. The question now is, how will that affect the local agriculture industry?

A WorkSource spokesman says he thinks Eastern Washington employers do a good job of checking citizenship when they hire workers. Increased immigration enforcment is already having an effect.

Some workers without the proper documentation may stay away from the area entirely because they're afraid of getting caught. And, WorkSource directors say the agricultural economy could be a place where the increased enforcement is felt the most.

WorkSource's Todd Dixon says, "With the tight labor market as it is, it could impact the fragile ag. economy because we're right at the margin as it is.

Orchardists have gotten through the cherry season despite the increased enforcement but, the upcoming apple season will be the next big test.