GILBERT, AZ - The cost of the immigration debate is being passed down to Arizona residents the state's farmers say.
They say they're having a tough time find enough workers and that's having an effect on the bottom line.
Farmers say that without some type of immigration reform – and a worker program – we may see more fields without crops.
They say it's because ‘why pay the expense to plant it if you can't harvest it?'
Valley farmers met with state congressional leaders Thursday night hoping to push the issue and get it resolved before the next election year.
If it doesn't, they're worried it could be another 10 years before we get some type of reform.
That's the bottom line for Arizona farmers who have seen their work force drastically diminish over the past eight years, taking an even greater hit when SB1070 went into effect.
Local farmer Kevin Rogers says this isn't only affecting the farmers, but you too.
If Congress doesn't come up with some type of immigration reform and worker program, we could soon see higher food prices at the grocery store.
Two reasons? Farmers will be forced to reduce their crops which in turn will lead to more fruits and vegetables being imported.
Rogers says the effects will cut even deeper, possibly risking Arizona's $12 billion farming industry.
Farmers need the laborers and they're fearing what will happen when today's shrinking work force retires.