More on meatpackers changing the face of Kansas and ECBOs in their wake

This is yet another story about meatpackers and immigrant labor and how those big companies are changing Garden City, Kansas and other small cities in Southwest Kansas.   There is a lot in this article, so I encourage all of you to read it.

Also, here is a story from 2009 that tells us that whites are now in the minority in Finney County, KS.

The Garden City Telegram reporter (Shajia Ahmed) has built this glowing frontpage story around the new Somali Community Center of Southwest Kansas described as follows in the opening paragraphs of the article:

Large images of Somali men and women in their brightly-colored garb and camels walking on dust-red ground, and a painting of the Kaaba, the holy Meccan edifice where Muslims across the world turn their heads in prayer five times a day, hang on the charcoal-colored walls inside the community center. Next to the photographs, an American flag lies juxtaposed to a light blue banner with a single white star in the center.

Beside both flags, a neon green poster with words carefully stenciled in marker, reads “Finney County: Many cultures, One community.” For $850 a month, members of the Somali community in Garden City have pooled together their funds to open a new community development center on North John Street, next to the local Department of Motor Vehicles.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written about Ethnic Community Based Organizations (ECBOs) often largely funded by taxpayer money at the local, state and even federal level (here is a recent federal grant list).   I call them mini-ACORNS and we have a whole category on the subject.  Basically, they are ‘community organizers’ and provide help for their specific ethnic group to find public benefits (like welfare).  Then when a political issue arises they act as the spokesmen and demand their rights for their group.  That is what the Somali Community of Southwest Kansas is—it is an ECBO.

By the way, Somalis love these ECBOs.  Here is a directory of some in the US, but new ones, like this one in our story, haven’t made the directory yet.

Back to the article.  I always wonder when someone says the local refugees/immigrants pooled their money to set up what amounts to a major business—a non-profit organization.  I’ve had experience setting up non-profits and it takes a lot of work and wherewithal.  So, I decided to start my research with the Kansas Secretary of State Office to see when this new ECBO was incorporated.

It was formed on March 27th of this year.  Its registered agent is something called US Corporation Agents, Inc. located at 4701 College Blvd, Suite 110, Leawood, KS 66211 which is also the address for the ‘community center.’  O.k. so who are they?   Well it turns out they were only incorporated in Kansas on January the 26th of this year but were originally formed in Nevada.   As for business type, they are listed as ‘Foreign for profit.’ So what is up with that?  Did the money for the Somali Community Center of Southwest Kansas really come from a bunch of poor immigrants pooling their pennies?  Or, did the seed money come from some foreign entity?

Generally here is how it goes:  ECBO formed with seed money from where?  Once established they tap into taxpayer money from all levels of government by getting grants for such things as English lessons, and other programs meant to ostensibly help them assimilate.*

Unfortunately the organization is so new we won’t figure out where their funding is coming from until they file a Form 990 next year and even with that the IRS has now changed the forms so its even harder to figure out how much taxpayer money goes into these “non-profit” organizations.  Local people are going to have to keep a real close eye on this “community center” and try to track its funding sources.

For new readers, more Somalis are on the way:

The US State Department has admitted over 80,000 Somali refugees to the US (this linked post continues to be one of the most widely read posts we have ever written) in the last 25 years and then in 2008 had to suspend family reunification because widespread immigration fraud was revealed through DNA testing.  That specific program has not yet been reopened (that we know of), but will be soon.

Nevertheless, thousands of Somali Muslims continue to be resettled by the State Department as I write this. We recently learned that we will be taking 6000 Somalis this year from one camp in Uganda and as many as 11,000-13,000 total from around the world.

Through the Refugee Resettlement program alone 2657 legal Somalis have already arrived in this fiscal year (2010) as of May 31st with an unknown number arriving through other legal programs and  illegally across both our borders.

* Be sure also to read this Comment Worth Noting from a Somali woman who refers to the Somali influx as an “invasion” and says they have no plans to assimilate.

Somalis disturbingly call their immigration to certain countries or cities as “invasions” and they call cities with no or little Somali populations as “Tuulas” or “villages”….

Are Garden City and Dodge City, KS  in the Tuula stage?  Or beyond?

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