Legal migrant workers unable to get back into country, Louisiana farmers impacted

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LOUISIANA (KNOE) - The partial government shutdown is now affecting those who put food on the table for millions of families. On Tuesday, Congressman Ralph Abraham announced some Louisiana farmers are having trouble getting their migrant workers back into the country.

"On the local level, it can shut down an operation," he said. "Some farmers may not get to plant their crops."

Abraham says the workers are vital to the state's agriculture industry and are now unable to get visas to come over and work.

"They are slow-walled, just not allowing them to come back into our country to do what they have done historically for years and years," he said.

Abraham is pushing back to help though. He sent the Secretary of State a letter addressing the concern. He says the state needs the issues resolved as quickly as possible.

"I don't know if there's a limit to the damage that we can actually speak of," he said.

Sweet potato, soybean, and even rice farmers are taking a hit. Surprisingly, so are farmers, like Paul Zaunbrecher.

"I sent nine guys to get paperwork done, and four of them got rejected," he said.

Zaunbrecher said if the trend continues, Louisiana could face a shortage this crawfish season. Abraham said he is hoping the secretary of state could resolve the issue within the next week.

"We really don't know exactly what the problem is but it sounds like the president's administration is going to get down to the bottom of it," Zaunbrecher said.