CL – Former State Sen. says he hires immigrants b/c locals refuse to do the work

Gene Saucier wishes he could help lower the state’s double-digit unemployment rate by hiring Mississippians to work on his tree farm instead of bringing in immigrants from Mexico and Central America.

“For many years I tried to hire Mississippi workers,” he said. “None made it on the job a week.”

Saucier was one of several people who asked state lawmakers to tread lightly during a hearing Tuesday on a proposed bill modeled after Arizona’s new immigration law.

He noted the impact such a law could have on Mississippi’s poultry, forestry and blueberry industries, which often depend on immigrant workers who may feel harassed by the legislation.