Somalis still arriving in Greeley, looking for work

There was a little noontime luncheon meeting in Greeley, CO a few days ago to tell citizens of Greeley what the state of the refugee resettlement program is in that city in the wake of recent firings of Somali refugees at the Swift meatpacking plant.  Only 25 people came to listen.   I am amazed at the low number and can only guess it was not widely publicized.

Here are some of the bits of information the attendees received:

Somali refugees are still arriving in Greeley although jobs are scarce.

Somali refugees continue to flow into Greeley, but the rate has slowed in recent months, a refugee caseworker told an audience Wednesday at Aims Community College.


While Somali and other east African refugees were arriving at a rate of 15 to 20 a week earlier this year — most taking jobs on the second shift at JBS Swift & Co. — arrivals have dropped to about eight to 10 a week, said Ibraham Mohamed, the caseworker [employed by Lutheran Family Services].


The decline comes in the wake of about 120 Muslim workers, mostly Somali, being fired at JBS Swift in September. The firings came after workers claimed that the company reneged on a compromise to allow them a short break around sunset to accommodate prayers during the holy month of Ramadan. JBS Swift officials said they tried to accommodate the workers’ religious practices, and that the firings were the result of an unauthorized work stoppage that involved about 300 Muslim workers walking off the job.

About half the fired workers remain in Greeley looking for other jobs that don’t require strong English skills.

A large number of Somalis have moved on to ‘welcoming’ Ft. Morgan:

James Horan, division director of Denver-based Lutheran Family Services Refugee and Asylee Programs and the featured speaker at Aims, said about 500 Somali refugees are in Greeley, up about 100 from earlier in the year. Meanwhile, about 300 have moved to Fort Morgan, home to a Cargill meatpacking plant.

Horan says the Muslim community could get larger, implying it is totally out of your (citizens of Greeley) control:

The recent labor dispute at JBS Swift aside, most refugees like what they’ve found in Greeley, according to Horan. He said there’s no way to predict how large the refugee population in Greeley will become.

Then Horan presents the arrival of refugees as a fait accompli.  Although it is the first time you might be noticing it (refugee arrivals).  No sense fighting it, it is happening everywhere!  As if settlement of third world refugees in small towns and cities in America is like an unpredictable new virus and all you can do is take some tylenol and get used to it.

“What you’re experiencing in Greeley is not entirely unique,” he said. “It’s probably unique to you and your community, but it’s a trend that’s happening to a lot of small- and medium-sized communities in the country.”

They want you to think this, but know, citizens of Greeley, you can speak up.   Other citizens in other cities have told the US State Department and the volags (and the meatpackers) to buzz-off and find some other place to resettle refugees.

My usual reforms-needed rant:   Every resettlement city chosen by the volags and the State Department should have an opportunity to learn all the facts about refugee resettlement in ADVANCE of refugees being resettled.  Then citizens must be given an opportunity to express their opinions and decide if they want refugees or not and HOW MANY!

To ambitious readers we have 57 posts in our category on Greeley and Grand Island here.

Agriprocessors manager arrested for role in fake immigration documents

We’ve posted before about the Iowa slaughterhouse Agriprocessors, which was the target of a big immigration raid in May. Today the Associated Press reported:

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A former manager of a kosher slaughterhouse that was found to have employed hundreds of illegal immigrants was arrested Thursday by authorities who allege he helped many of the workers get fake documents.

Prosecutors said Sholom Rubashkin, 49-year-old son of Agriprocessors owner Abraham Aaron Rubashkin, is charged with conspiracy to harbor undocumented immigrants for financial gain, aiding and abetting document fraud, and aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft.

Immigration agents said in a federal affidavit that one witness said Sholom Rubashkin gave him $4,500 to buy identification documents for illegal-immigrant workers. Another allegedly said Rubashkin saw nothing wrong with hiring a group of workers who had new-looking resident alien cards and might have been fired from the Agriprocessors plant in Postville just two days earlier.

Community organizers to descend on Shelbyville, TN next week

Three groups advocating for “unity” and “understanding” will hold a community meeting to try to exorcize bad feelings that came to the fore last year when increasing Somali refugee numbers in the meatpacking town began to impact local residents.   If you recall the tensions came to a head and made national news when the Tyson’s chicken processing plant agreed to drop the Labor Day holiday in favor of a Muslim holiday. 

Anyway, tempers have been simmering ever since and now community organizing groups want to try to bring everyone together.   From the Shelbyville Times-Gazette today.

Local members of a statewide grassroots organization are planning an event next Thursday that is intended to “promote unity and deepen understanding amongst the diverse populations in Shelbyville.”

The Bedford County Chapter of Statewide Organizing for Justice will be holding the event Thursday, Nov. 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Fly Arts Building, located at 204 S. Main St. in Shelbyville.

The event is being cosponsored by the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition and El Centro Latino of Bedford County.

The Community Unity Night will include a panel of community leaders “who will speak about finding common ground around the Golden Rule (‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’)”, according to the group. The evening will also include a community discussion on this issue, “to promote strength in unity in the county.”

Are any of you wondering what the wisdom is in having this meeting two days after what is likely to be a close Presidential election where both sides are pretty keyed-up?  What do you think the chances are that one segment of the Shelbyville community is going to be pretty steamed and in no mood to be conciliatory at a “Community Unity Night”?  

Or, is it possible they know very well what they are doing.  Expecting Obama to win, they are making their move to start to shove “unity” on Shelbyville whether they like it or not?   [Bad, Ann, you are getting so cynical!] 

The other two members of the community organizing troika are the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition and a Hispanic advocacy group.

TIRRC is a statewide, immigrant and refugee-led collaboration that works to empower immigrants and refugees to develop a unified voice, defend their rights and create an atmosphere in which they are viewed as positive contributors to the state.

El Centro Latino is a local organization that advocates and aids Latino residents of Bedford County.

To learn more about how the Shelbyville issue developed use our search function for “Shelbyville.”

And, by the way, remember that Hispanics and Somalis are not getting along so well in some other meatpacking towns!   See Greeley/Grand Island here.

Endnote:  Going to the meeting?  Have some fun!  Learn about the Delphi Technique and see if you can spot it being used on the meeting participants.  Now that our eyes have been opened about the community organizing profession we need to be smarter about recognizing strategies used to manipulate communities.

We are our theoretical brothers’ keepers, but not our real ones’

It was just a coincidence that on the same day I heard a clip of Barack 0bama saying once again “We are our brothers’ keepers” I read about his Auntie Zeituni Onyango living in a Boston slum. You’ve probably heard all about it already, but I can’t resist commenting anyway. It was the British Times (formerly known as The Times of London), not the New York Times or the Boston Globe, that reported:

Barack Obama has lived one version of the American Dream that has taken him to the steps of the White House. But a few miles from where the Democratic presidential candidate studied at Harvard, his Kenyan aunt and uncle, immigrants living in modest circumstances in Boston, have a contrasting American story.

Zeituni Onyango, the aunt so affectionately described in Mr Obama’s best-selling memoir Dreams from My Father, lives in a disabled-access flat on a rundown public housing estate in South Boston. (“Public housing estate” is Brit-talk for “project.”)

Here’s the convoluted description of the relationships:

Aunt Zeituni and Uncle Omar are the children of Mr Obama’s grandfather Hussein Onyango Obama, by his third wife – the woman Mr Obama calls “Granny” because she raised his father. Mr Obama’s father, Barack Sr, was Onyango Obama’s son by his second wife, Akumu. That makes Zeituni and Omar a half-sister and half-brother of Mr Obama’s father, or Mr Obama’s half-aunt and half-uncle.

I know some American families who — through divorce and remarriage — are just as complicated. I myself am a step-grandmother and my daughter is a half-aunt. There are better ways to conduct family life than those that end up with half-whatevers and step-whatevers, believe me, though everybody is loved just as much as if they were whole-whatevers. A system that encourages such arrangements through polygamy doesn’t strike me as healthy. The Times goes on to report:

The Times could not determine their immigration status and an official at Boston City Hall said that Ms Onyango was a resident of Flaherty Way but not registered to vote on the electoral roll. However, that Ms Onyango made a contribution to the Obama campaign would indicate that she is a US citizen.

I guess The Times hasn’t heard that lots and lots of foreigners have donated to the Obama campaign, from all over the world. The Palestinian territories have been a particularly rich source of support. It was generous of Auntie, as she is a poor woman.

An Associated Press story about poor people buying lottery tickets at cheque-cashing shops, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 25, 2003, quotes a Zeituni Onyango whom it describes as out of work and without much money. “It’s like when I feel luck might fall I do that, like manna might come from Heaven. That’s when I buy it,” she told AP.

 What is Obama’s current relationship with his Auntie?

The Obama campaign was repeatedly approached for comment yesterday but had not responded at the time of going to press. It is not clear whether Mr Obama has been in touch with his African relatives living in the US, or even whether he is aware that they are on US soil.

In the preface to the 2004 reissue, he writes: “Most of the characters in this book remain a part of my life, albeit in varying degrees – a function of work, children, geography, and turns of fate.”

Well, if he didn’t know where she was before, he knows now. Just as he knows about his 26-year-old brother George living on less than a dollar a month in Kenya, near Nairobi. That discovery was made by the Italian Vanity Fair and reported on in the Telegraph (UK). Our American reporters are too busy tending to the tingles up their legs to find out about such items as Obama’s family.

It is such a cliche about liberals that you’d think Obama would take pains to disprove it — that they love humanity but hate people. He says we’re our brothers’ keepers, but apparently all he means is that the government is supposed to take our money to care for other people.  When he has the opportunity to show he really believes what he says, by helping his actual brother and his actual aunt who are living in poverty, he takes a pass.

He must be very sympathetic to the refugee agencies we report on, who can pour out many fine words about the wretched of the earth and our duty to help them, and then take our tax money by the millions of dollars to create large agencies that often neglect the people they are paid to help.

Immigrants to Quebec will be required to sign agreement to assimilate

This is interesting.  Canada has been having problems, perhaps greater than the US has had, in getting immigrants to assimilate and respect Canadian values so Quebec has gone one step further.   New immigrants will be required to sign a declaration that they intend to learn French and respect the values of their adopted country. 

Needless to say, the left is furious.  So, you must give supporters of the declaration enormous credit for even pushing the measure.     Can you imagine the uproar if such an effort were attempted here, but maybe things aren’t bad enough here—yet!  From the National Post:

MONTREAL – Future immigrants to Quebec will be required to sign a declaration promising to learn French and respect Quebec’s “shared values,” the government announced yesterday.

In a document with echoes of the controversial code adopted last year by the rural town of Herouxville, immigrants will be informed that Quebec is a democracy where men and women are equal and violence is prohibited.

“Quebecers have said yes to immigration, but they said yes to immigration on the condition that these immigrants integrate into our society,” Immigration Minister Yolande James said as she announced the policy, which takes effect in January.

She added that immigrating to Quebec “is a privilege, not a right.”

There is a lot of information on the web about Herouxville, the town that inspired this initiative.   One story is here.