Shelbyville Times-Gazette editorial says federal government unfair to local workers

We told you last week that 150 people, including a large number of  immigrants and refugees, mostly from Nashville, arrived at an employment office in Shelbyville, TN to compete for a few jobs at the local Tyson’s poultry plant.   The police had to be called in when a scuffle ensued.

This morning the Times-Gazette editorializes on the practice of non-profit groups, funded by the taxpayer, bringing immigrant labor to town and competing for jobs that locals would like to have.

Here is the background:

Concerns rose in Shelbyville this week after law enforcement was 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, camped overnight to apply for Tyson jobs.

Members of our community have expressed anger that jobs are being taken by foreign nationals instead of local workers, and that anger has been wrongly directed at Tyson, which employs 1,300 people, the majority of whom are local residents. Tyson also recruits locally through job fairs and employment advertising.

We believe employment opportunities should be equally available for all legal workers, and agree that Tyson is following the law in its hiring practice, in this instance.

We do not, however, agree with our tax dollars being used to ship people to our county to apply for jobs.

Then here is an editor after my own heart.

We fear that current trends by the government to unwisely hand out our money to religious organizations that pass it on to foreign nationals seeking jobs in these difficult times may help reverse that.

World Relief, one organization that has shipped foreign nationals to apply for jobs in Shelbyville, told the Times-Gazette Monday that it contracts with the govenrment to do so. The organization received more than $31 million in federal grants in 2008, according to its financial report, available at

This practice, funded by the federal government, makes it unfairly competitive to those who live here and are willing and able to take those jobs.

These are religious organizations. If they want to ship folks down here, let them pay for it out of their church coffers, rather than out of our tax dollars. If not, let the immigrants scratch up their own bus fare to Shelbyville.

Yes indeed!     Read the whole editorial, it was so good I wanted to post the whole thing here, but you should go visit the Times-Gazette.

Be sure to read the news update at the Times-Gazette today too.

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