Rulings but no answers - The Packer

Rulings but no answers

06/29/2012 09:18:00 AM
The Packer Editorial Board

The busy week at the Supreme Court affected fresh produce companies.

Now the question is, how?

The last week of June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Arizona’s strict immigration laws were unconstitutional except for the provision that allows state officials to check for immigrant status, the so-called “show me your papers” rule.

It also upheld the individual mandate for health insurance in the 2010 health care bill or ObamaCare, calling it a tax.

The industry finds itself in such a confusing political climate that while both liberals and conservatives claimed some victory in both rulings, the produce business doesn’t know if it won or lost.

As far as the health care ruling, most tend to agree that insurance rates will go up, making them less affordable for produce companies to extend to workers.

And then the taxpayer may pick up the tab, which eventually costs everyone who pays taxes.

Then there’s the sticky situation of illegal farmworkers.

Both the health care and immigration rulings affect these workers, but they’ve already been operating outside the law for years.

Arizona workers will have to deal with more hassles, but other states considering similar laws will take a while to enact them.

The best guess is that both rulings will become talking points for both parties in the November election.

When American voters decide who will be president and who makes up Congress, implementing or repealing these laws can begin.

In the meantime, expect business as usual.

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