F armers from all over the country were in Washington D.C. this week, talking to lawmakers about immigration reform.
O ne of those farmers was Pat McGuire from Royal Farms in Antrim County. He has seven employees that are able to work the fields, but he needs 35 and he says current laws are holding up the hiring process.
"L ike any contract it's a binding contract, so if I don't pick the right harvest date from start to finish then I have to pay that amount up to 75% , even if they don't work or show up ," McGuire said.
C urrent laws only allow migrant employees to work on the farm for 60 days , M c G uire and other farmers say they need at least three months.
"T his year there was a shortage of labor across the state and that is a big concern for farmers and businesses in the communities that those farmers are in ," Ryan Findlay, Michigan Farm Bureau National Legislative Counsel said.
W hile in Washington, McGuire met with lawmakers and urged them to get a law passed to help address this issue before it's too late.
"W hat's discouraging to me is that they continue to do nothing about immigration, then the fruits and crops in Michigan won't be raised in Michigan anymore," McGuire said.
T he bill is currently being held up in the U.S. House of Representatives.