Move along, nothing to see in welcoming Ft. Morgan, CO

I had to laugh when I saw this article (Morgan ahead of others in refugee resettlement) yesterday from Ft. Morgan, CO all about how great everything is with the booming Muslim population in that “welcoming” town.  If readers did not know that a refugee woman was murdered there a week ago today, one would think this just sounds idyllic.

In some ways, Fort Morgan is ahead of other cities that are dealing with an unexpected influx of refugees.

Recently, Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning Director of Integration Strategies Susan Downs-Karkos and English Language Training Project Director Burna Dunn came to Fort Morgan to talk with people from the school district, OneMorgan County and other agencies that are dealing with the challenges of the East African refugees who have moved to the community.

They also talked to people in Greeley and communities in Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas and Texas, on behalf of the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement, to find out how schools and other agencies are doing with their unplanned new residents.

All of these towns have meat or poultry packing plants, which offer relatively well-paying jobs for those with basic skills and little knowledge of English, Dunn said.

Overall, the representatives heard some promising things from Fort Morgan, Downs-Karkos said.

There are some ways in which Fort Morgan stands out compared to other communities. [other than being the only town with a murdered Somali]

Perhaps the biggest difference between Fort Morgan and the other cities is that it has Lutheran Family Services of Colorado case management services in the city, she said.

In most states, these kinds of services are only available in the big urban centers, and it is outstanding that LFS and the Colorado Refugee Services Program have been so responsive to the needs in Fort Morgan, Downs-Karkos said.

These Colorado offices have worked to put resources into communities to help both the refugees and the communities to deal with this move, she said.

As for the ‘shout out’ to Lutheran Family Services of Colorado, I would like to know which came first.  Did the resettlement agency set up shop and bring the refugees to Ft. Morgan, or did they have insider knowledge that Cargill was going to be luring refugee labor and the agency followed the refugees?   Does anyone know?  We do know that Lutheran Family Services is a sponsor of the new Ethnic Community Based Organization in Greeley the East African Community of Colorado run coincidentally by some Somalis by the name of Abdi (both the murdered woman and the murder suspect share that name).

I would have so much more respect for mainstream media reporting if this article at least acknowledged that a refugee was murdered under very suspicious circumstances last week.  It wouldn’t have taken too many lines, but at least the problems should be listed along with the glossy good news.

Likewise since the same reporter wrote the story, he could have slipped in a line from his soccer team article AND  mentioned the fact that Somali teens were banned from the local library.   This is why so many people are getting their news elsewhere—-stories like this one are just too good to be true and readers know they are being spun!

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