On Friday, President Obama issued a directive regarding deportation of illegal immigrants in a very narrow scope; they must be between the ages of 16 & 30, have a high school diploma or GED, or have served honorably in the military, and must not have a criminal record, plus have lived in the US five consecutive years. Essentially children of undocumented immigrants that were brought here by their parents.
North Carolina Farm Bureau President Larry Wooten:

“The President’s Directive, it wasn’t even an Executive Order, it was in no way doing anything about amnesty, it was not even close to amnesty. It was just a two-year reprieve, kind of a deferred deportation.”

Of course, the timing of this directive could be considered suspect, according to Wooten:

“Obvioulsy, I’m sure, some people would say that the timing of the president’s directive to Homeland Security to defer these deportations are politically motivated, and we certainly we are getting close to what we all call the political ‘silly season’, where things happen for political reasons. But, for some of these young people, it will help give them a reprieve, but, it’s a big issue. This whole issue of immigration…immigration reform is a big issue in this country.”

While there’s no way to know for sure, Wooten feels that under the stipulations of the directive, agricultural workers will be minimally impacted:

“I would say, probably, this would not cover a lot of the folks that work in agriculture. You know, a lot of the folks that work in agriculture might not even qualify, I have no way of knowing how many, but my suspicions would be that percentage wise, there’d be a very small percentage of folks working in agriculture that would be covered by this Presidential Directive.”

As far as the life of the directive, if Obama isn’t re-elected in November, the directive could die when he leaves office in January:

“It could be extended, and that’s one of the fallacies of what he did in that it isn’t even an Executive Order, it doesn’t have any permanency to it, and it’s certainly not a law passed by congress, it’s just a deferral for two years is what it is…a two-year deportation deferral. It doesn’t have anything with amnesty or citizenship, or anything.”

President of the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation, Larry Wooten is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.