Somali refugees in Amarillo, TX, Tyson’s too, what a coincidence

This is one of those chicken and egg stories, you know, which came first?    Did Somali refugees just happen to be resettled in Amarillo and conveniently a nearby Tyson’s Food meatpacking plant needed employees, or did Tyson’s bring the refugees to Amarillo with the help of friends in the US State Department and Catholic charitable organizations?     I don’t know, but I do know that wherever you find Tyson’s Food you find Somali refugees. 

“This is completely legal. The president sets a number of refugees who are invited to the country every year. They are given travel loans. So, the state pays for their travel, but they are expected to pay that loan,” Benita Medlock, with Refugee Services of Texas, said. “After they’ve been here a year, they get their green card and when they’ve been here for five years, they can become U.S citizens. “

Yup, travel loans to get to the US (which are rarely repaid) and on a fast track to citizenship.

Refugee Services of Texas and Catholic Family Service make sure they have their vaccinations, housing, ESL (English as a Second Language) classes and make sure they are able to enroll their kids in school. Most of them have adjusted, but others have hit some roadblocks. 

Yup, vaccinations, housing, and ESL lessons paid for by the taxpayer (while Tyson’s benefits with cheap “legal” labor).

“The biggest problems have been some of the children adjusting in school because a lot of children come in and they have never sat in a classroom. They have no idea what going to school is like,” Medlock said. “Most of the refugees are working with Tyson and the Cactus Swift plant. They like that because it’s a place that they can work and don’t have to speak English. They can make good money too.” 

Yup, good money and they don’t have to learn English.  Wait?  Then why are we paying for ESL lessons?

For regular readers of RRW, you know all about the Somali refugee issues that have plagued other US cities.  For new readers check out Emporia, KS and Shelbyville, TN posts.


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