Georgia Labor Commissioner David Poythress personally appealed to U.S. Labor Secretary Alexis Herman in Washington, D.C., July 24 to relax federal regulations of legal migrant farm workers that he says are too strict.

      In his visit to Ms. Herman, Mr. Poythress was joined by Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., whose southwest Georgia district includes many of the farmers who are unhappy with restrictions governing the federal so-called “guest workers” program.

      Mr. Poythress told GlobalFax last week these regulations are so onerous that only one farm in Georgia avails itself of the guest workers program.

      The commissioner charged that the rules were actually worded in such a way that farmers would be discouraged from hiring legal foreign workers.  He said the authors in both Congress and the Labor Department over the years did this under the misguided idea that farmers would be forced to hire Americans.

      But for many years farmers have been unable to find Americans in sufficient numbers to work in the fields and so they resort to hiring illegal aliens, sometimes without knowing it.

      Mr. Poythress may be reached by calling his office at (404) 656-3011.