Ohio farmers make pitch for low-cost immigrant labor

CLEVELAND - Ohio farm leaders offered some expensive food for thought on the issue of immigrant agricultural labor.

Farmer leaders set up a folding table and a fruit cart Friday at Cleveland's West Side Market and filled them with high-priced items. An apple was priced at $5 and a head of cauliflower was $10.

The point, not based on actual farm economics, was that a federal crackdown on immigrant labor would send food prices skyrocketing.

But the Center for Immigration Studies says that the idea of $5 apples is laughable. The think tank in Washington says that labor accounts for about 6 cents of a $1 head of lettuce. The center wants illegal immigrants deported under a 1986 law.

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