Farmers say they now have more incentive to hire illegals

Farmers say they now have more incentive to hire illegals
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Action News is following up on a fruit picker shortage in the Yakima Valley.

We learned a new State Supreme Court ruling could make things even worse. The number of fruit pickers is currently down by a third. That comes as the state Supreme Court recently upheld a law that would fine employers $500 for any mistake made on farm worker's employment forms. The law is meant to keep employers from hiring undocumented workers, but farmers said it will dissuade them from hiring pickers causing an even greater shortage.

"There's no incentive for farmers to do it because it's going to be more costly to us because you are going to have to hire attorneys and there is still going to be lawsuits,” said farmer John Verbrugge.

Farmers are now paying about 30% more to attract fruit pickers. They say the new law will do nothing to stem the tide of illegal immigrants in the state.