No sympathy from me for meatpackers!

Regular readers know I have been out of the loop lately, preoccupied elsewhere, and so I’m late on some of these stories that have broken in the last two weeks.   I wanted to be sure to get this posted however because it’s a subject we followed minute by minute two years ago and have a whole category on the topic here (Greeley/ Swift/ Somali controversy).

So, here we go at the Huffington Post, two years after the fact, Swift is being sued by the EEOC  (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) for religious discrimination. The stealth jihad in all its glory.

DENVER — Muslim Somali workers at two JBS Swift & Co. meatpacking plants in Colorado and Nebraska face ongoing harassment because of their race and religion, including being prevented from getting a drink at one of the plants after fasting all day during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges.

A lawsuit filed by the EEOC late Monday in U.S. District Court in Denver alleges JBS officials shut off water fountains at its Greeley meatpacking plant, keeping Muslim Somali workers from getting a drink at sundown.

The suit says the water fountain incident happened in September 2008 and is part of a pattern of religious and racial harassment that continues at the plant. Workers also are denied prayer time and face termination for asking to pray, according to the lawsuit, which names as plaintiffs more than 80 current and former employees.

A second lawsuit filed by the EEOC in U.S. District Court in Omaha, Neb., alleges similar acts at the company’s meatpacking plant in Grand Island, Neb.

Swift officials did not immediately return messages. Many workers named in the suit could not be reached for comment.

Why no sympathy from me, because these giant meatpacking companies (some not even American companies! JBS Swift is Brazilian-owned) have been hustling immigrant labor for a long time simply to avoid paying the higher wages that would keep American workers (see CIS study here).  I am also convinced that they are getting additional benefits (tax breaks?) from the federal government for hiring refugees.   Some meatpackers even have gone so far as to lure hordes of Somalis from one American city to the next for such employment causing economic and social stress in small cities and towns that have to accommodate the influx.

The meatpackers have been a driving force behind refugee resettlement for at least as far back as the Clinton Administration, here.   Readers, this is not about a humanitarian concern for the world’s downtrodden.

Ground Zero Mosque protest on 9/11, no signs!

Robert Spencer, here, at Jihad Watch is alerting anyone planning to attend what will likely be a massive demonstration against the Ground Zero Mosque this month to NOT bring protest signs.    Those of us who attended the Glenn Beck rally on August 28th in Washington, DC know how effective this policy was for that event—the mainstream media could not then focus on someone who might say something that could be misconstrued and thereby disparage the whole group.  

Although I gotta say, those signs at last year’s 9/12 rally in D.C. sure were fun to read!

Tens of thousands of Bhutanese transition to the US

This is an informative report at the Contra Costa Times on how refugees—they are called Bhutanese, but are really of Nepali origin—are arriving by the tens of thousands in the US and how they are being prepared for life in America in camps in Nepal.

I had a laugh over this paragraph:

In the past two years, more than 30,000 Bhutanese refugees have migrated to the United States, Canada, Australia and five other countries. The refugees, members of a Nepali-speaking ethnic minority, left Bhutan 18 years ago under pressure from the government.  [The Bhutan government wanted Bhutan for Bhutanese not for Nepali people.]

I laughed because although they say 30,000 have gone to the US, Canada and Australia, we have officially taken 29,371 of those according to statistics available at the Cultural Resources Orientation Center here.    The numbers breakdown as follows: FY 2008—5,320, FY 2009 —13,452, and FY 2010 as of July 31st (the fiscal year ends Sept. 3oth)—10,599. 

This exodus to the US was launched in 2007 by former (Bush Administration) Asst. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration Ellen Sauerbrey’s promise that the US would take 60,000 Bhutanese over 5 years.  So they have about 30,000 to go over the next two years to reach her promised goal.

The article goes on to discuss how the elderly (who will btw be eligible for SSI in the US)  have a more challenging time with the training to enter the US.  And, there is a very interesting discussion about how the refugee camps are experiencing a decline in the educational system as teachers are being resettled.

The elderly need to learn some English and how to flush a toilet!

Refugees say better preparation for life abroad is more important now than ever. Elder refugees, most of them former farmers in Bhutan, are enrolling in English classes for the first time, hoping it will ease their transition, and the migration agency is teaching life skills to adults on topics ranging from child-rearing to the workings of American-style flush toilets.

However, it appears their biggest worry is about crime and the poor economy.

The teachers have also been tasked to talk a lot more about the refugees’ big concerns: the tough economy and crime.

Two Bhutanese refugees who had recently arrived in America were killed after robbery attempts in Florida and Texas. Many more have been mugged, including several young Bhutanese men in Oakland. The refugees are placed in cities where they can find affordable apartments and easy access to public transit. Many of these places also suffer from poverty and crime.

Mugging stories spread like wildfire back in the camps, where they are often tinged with racial stereotypes, fears and jokes.

Agency workers said they have tried to tailor their cultural orientation sessions to respond to fears and misconceptions about life in the United States.

We have written many many posts on the Bhutanese resettlement to the US, including reports of those murders mentioned in this article.  I encourage readers wishing to learn more to please use our search function and search for ‘Bhutanese.’

Rohingya being resettled in Atlanta

It wasn’t that long ago that no one was saying a word about Rohingya (Muslims from Burma) coming to the US.  We heard about it in hints from the State Department and resettlement agency workers who wondered who these refugees were who didn’t get along real well with the Karen (Burmese Christians).   Now, according to this International Rescue Committee news item, it is all out in the open.

IRC Atlanta resettled its first Rohingyans this year and expects to resettle some 20 more of the 800 who will be invited in for permanent resettlement by the US government in the coming year.

For new readers, we have a whole category on the Rohingya here.  I haven’t posted much on the topic in recent months so I was interested to see this piece of news today.