Immigrants and jobs causing uproar in Shelbyville, TN again!

Update Feb. 16th:   MSNBC has more.

Update Feb. 15th:   More on the story here.  See the editorial today also.

Vans full of immigrants from many countries were driven from Nashville to Shelbyville, TN Sunday evening to sleep on the sidewalks and wait for the employment office to open Monday morning—all seeking a limited number of jobs at a nearby Tyson’s chicken processing plant.   Longtime readers will recall we have written extensively on Shelbyville’s efforts to cope with the large Somali population that Tyson’s had previously attracted to the town.

On Monday we reported on the scuffle that broke out among those waiting in line.  Today’s article by Brian Mosely goes into some detail about how that incident evolved.   By the way, Mosely received a statewide Associated Press award last year for his investigative series on the Somalis of Shelbyville.

Egyptians are among the immigrants arriving this time.

As an organizer from Nashville searched for housing and services for about 50 Egyptian men and their families who want to move to Shelbyville to be close to their new jobs at Tyson Foods, the county mayor said that the food giant should hire Bedford County residents first.

It seems the Coptic church (the Nashville congregation) is helping the Egyptians find work, but these are not refugees in the usual sense.    Although the way the Copts are treated by Muslims in  their homeland, they might as well be refugees.   This particular group is composed of successful recipients of diversity lottery visas.

Father Boutros said Wednesday that the Egyptians were not refugees, but legal immigrants that were admitted to this country through a lottery visa.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Diversity Lottery (DV) Program makes 55,000 immigrant visas available through a lottery to people who come from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.


“They don’t know anything about the states, so they’re starting from scratch,” Michael said of the families. “Father Boutros asked me to come down to find out what we can tell these families about this town.”

One of the first things they need to know about the town is that, like other cities in America right now, jobs are scarce and Americans want Americans to get the jobs first.  And, they need to be aware of the  town’s recent rocky history with the Somali Muslims.

Concerns have once again risen in Shelbyville about immigrants and refugees coming to Bedford County to apply for jobs at the Tyson Foods poultry plant.

Law enforcement were called out early Monday to quell a disturbance at the state unemployment office downtown after about 150 people, including a large number of refugees and others brought from Nashville by various charitable organizations, began cutting in line for the coveted jobs.

But readers of the Times-Gazette and others in the community have expressed anger that the jobs are being taken by large groups of foreign nationals instead of local people.

So now if you are wondering why I titled this post as I did, go read the comments to this story and see what I mean by an “uproar.”

Hamas members are NOT flooding into the U.S. from Gaza

Update Feb. 21st:  More on this issue here.

In the last few days Ann and I have seen numerous references to a presidential directive that supposedly opens the floodgates to hundreds of thousands of people from Gaza “migrating” to the United States.  Two of these articles, by usually credible sources, are here and here, and we saw several others. They all refer to a Presidential Directive that reads as follows (from the White House web site):

Monday, February 2nd, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Relief for Gaza

President Obama signed a memorandum today directing more than $20 million for “urgent refugee and migration needs” in Gaza.

You can read the full text of the memorandum below.

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release February 2, 2009
January 27, 2009
Presidential Determination

No. 2009-15

SUBJECT: Unexpected Urgent Refugee and Migration
Needs Related to Gaza

By the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 2(c)(1) of the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962 (the “Act”), as amended (22 U.S.C. 2601), I hereby determine, pursuant to section 2(c)(1) of the Act, that it is important to the national interest to furnish assistance under the Act in an amount not to exceed $20.3 million from the United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund for the purpose of meeting unexpected and urgent refugee and migration needs, including by contributions to international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations and payment of administrative expenses of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State, related to humanitarian needs of Palestinian refugees and conflict victims in Gaza.

You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.


It must be the word “migration” in the headline and body of the directive that has set so many people to reporting President Obama’s treachery in planning to flood us with Gazans. That’s not what the directive says, folks. We are sending emergency funds to Gaza, by way of international organizations, and that’s all.

Just to be sure, I talked to an official at the State Department. He said the fund in question, known as ERMA (the U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance fund), is run out of the White House. That is, the president has discretion to use it for what he determines are emergencies. It is for providing funds for people in place — that is, where they are in need in other countries, not here.  He pointed out that “migration” is not the same as “immigration.” It means people moving around, that’s all.

Ann posted on this directive on January 30, when it was issued. We both understood at the time that it referred to aid to Gaza civilians in Gaza. In her post Ann was critical of the emergency aid because we are well aware that much of such aid ends up in the hands of Hamas.

George W. Bush also used the ERMA fund. In September 2007 I posted on a $24 million expenditure, quoting from Reuters:

President George W. Bush authorized up to $24 million to meet “unexpected and urgent” needs of refugees from conflicts in Iraq, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka, according to a memorandum released on Monday.

The amount from the United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund was not to exceed $24 million “for the purpose of meeting unexpected and urgent refugee and migration needs,” Bush said in a memorandum to the Secretary of State.The funds were for international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations, and administrative expenses of the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, the memo said.

It is understandable that the directive would be interpreted as it was. We have learned that we cannot trust anything President Obama says or does. And he has been positively obsequious toward the Muslim world since he took office — no, since well before he took office.

But in this case the interpretation is wrong. And it needs to be corrected. Remember that our side was hurt when we allowed false rumors about Bill Clinton to circulate unimpeded. There are enough true bad actions to pin on Obama; we don’t need this false one.

Here’s a good, factual article on the matter, mostly quoting the State Department press release. Ironically, it comes from TASS, the Russian news agency.

Update Feb. 13th: More on ERMA here.

Update Feb. 18thSnopes is now on the case.  I suspect Snopes used this post or an email circulating about it for leads to the facts, since its discussion references the George W. Bush authorization of funds.

Thousands of Liberians living in the US will soon be deported (maybe!)

You learn something new every day!   Thanks to Blulitespecial for sending this CNN article.  I had no idea we gave temporary protection to citizens of countries undergoing civil unrest.    Amazing!   Does that mean that instead of hauling tens of thousands of  wealthy “refugees” from Iraq and paying their airfare and all of their expenses we could just let them come here for awhile on their own dime and set a date for them to return to Iraq?   Just wondering.

Thousands of Liberians living in the United States face deportation March 31 when a federal immigration status created for humanitarian purposes expires.

Corvah Akoiwala is worried about what will happen to his children, born in the U.S., when he is sent to Liberia.

In the 1990s, a bloody civil war raged through the West African nation, killing 250,000 people and displacing more than a million, according to a U.N. report. The United States extended “temporary protection status” to all Liberians who could get to America, and 14,000 of them took advantage of that humanitarian offer.

Temporary protection status is an immigration status somewhere between political asylum and refugee status. Administered by the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, it is extended to nationals of countries facing civil unrest or natural disaster.

For years, the temporary protection status for Liberians was extended as the situation there worsened under dictator Charles Taylor. But Taylor was ousted in 2003 and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected Liberia’s first female president in 2006. In 2007, citing the progress in Liberia, President George W. Bush signed an order of “delayed enforced departure” for Liberians who had been under temporary protection status, giving them 18 months to return to Liberia.

Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island wants them to stay.

Many of these Liberians have become important parts of the communities where they live in the United States,” said Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island. There is a large Liberian community in his home state.

But then why have temporary humanitarian assistence if they are all allowed to stay?   Good question!

Critics say Liberians should go back to Liberia when their status runs out.

“It is time for people to go back and rebuild their country,” said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. Stein underlines the temporary in “temporary protected status.” He said for Liberians to stay when their country is at peace would be an abuse of U.S. hospitality.

“It makes a mockery of the concept of short-term temporary humanitarian protection.”

So what do you think the chances are that those ICE airlines flights I told you about yesterday fly to Africa?

By the way, the country of Liberia was founded by freed American slaves who wanted their own country in Africa.

Somaliland government not telling all it knows?

Dinah Lord has a post yesterday in which she speculates about whether Obama renditions may have already begun!   Do  you remember we told you two weeks ago that Americans were captured in Somaliland and there  were some musings about whether they were our missing Somali former refugees turned terrorists.

Dinah links to a Voice of America article which reports that Somaliland spokespersons are saying, no not American, we were mistaken, we let them go.   However….

The Washington-based president of the Somaliland American Council, Rashid Nur, says he believes the Somaliland government is not revealing all it knows.

“As you have said, it is really difficult to get the true picture of who these people are and their identities. But from versions coming out of the government and from other people, some of these people are U.S. residents,” said Nur. “There are also some Somalilanders who went to some of the regions in the south, received training, and came back.”

Hint to CAIR and the families back in Minneapolis, ask Obama if he’s got your boys!