120,000 foreign students invited to US each summer to work, some are now striking

Update:  Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit reports today that the percentage of young people (ages 16-24) working this summer is the lowest ever, here.

For those of you who are going to wonder what this has to do with refugees, I’ll tell you right now.  The unemployment rate for refugees is probably around 50%.  Of course that’s a guess because the Office of Refugee Resettlement is several years behind with the facts on that, but here you have the US State Department in charge of refugees and at the same time importing competition for the refugees (and for Americans desperate to work) in a nightmare job market (Just in: new jobless claims rise!)

This belongs in a not-yet-created-but-needed category called OMG!   Can you believe it—the US State Department has a program known as the J-1 Visa that allows 120,000 foreign students to come to the US to work!  This when AMERICAN KIDS HAVE NO SUMMER JOBS!

How did I learn about this?  That d*** SEIU (Service Employees International Union) and another “guest worker” union have encouraged FOREIGN students to strike at the Hershey Chocolate plant in Pennsylvania!  And, now SEIU is sending out a plea for money—to be sent to SEIU—to help the kids!  This is what SEIU is saying in an urgent e-mail today:

Against all odds, students working for the famous chocolate factory in Hershey, Pennsylvania have gone on strike to fight back against the company’s predatory practices and to win fair wages.

Their story has inspired national attention and a State Department investigation, but since many of them make $8 an hour (with “program fees” and rent automatically dedicated) they’re running out of time and on the verge of being unable to afford basic necessities: food and rent.

The students need to raise $15,000 to keep up the fight, and the SEIU family can help them.  [What! no money and SEIU will walk away?]

Here is what the New York Times said about the “strike” just this week.

About 400 foreign students are working at the Palmyra plant under a summer cultural exchange program for work and travel offered by the State Department. About 120,000 students come to the United States each year on what are known as J-1 visas, which allow them to work for several months and then travel for a month as tourists. Their employment is organized by some 52 nonprofit sponsoring agencies in this country.

The students at the packing plant, who came from China, Romania, Ukraine, Nigeria and other nations, were employed through one of those agencies, the Council for Educational Travel, U.S.A., based in California.

The students protested that they were forced to continuously lift boxes of candy weighing more than 50 pounds and work on night shifts beginning at 11 p.m. on production lines moving too fast for them to keep up. They said that after the council deducted as much as $400 a month from their paychecks for rent, they did not earn enough to cover their expenses or to afford to travel, or even to earn back the up to $6,000 many had paid to obtain the visas.


Most of the students returned to their jobs in recent days, according to a spokeswoman for Exel, the logistics company that operates the plant for Hershey’s.

Several dozen of them wore armbands as a way to continue their protest inside the plant. A small group of students did not return to work but will go on tours in Pennsylvania and New York organized by labor unions.

“There’s nothing wrong with paid vacations, but a paid vacation won’t cover up the truth” that Hershey knew, condoned and benefited from the low-wage labor of the students, said Saket Soni, executive director of the National Guestworker Alliance, a labor group that helped the students organize their protest.

What is the National Guestworker Alliance?*  Who did the students pay $6000 to?   Who are these non-profit groups that arrange to help bring foreign kids while your kids wish they had a job!   And, whose brilliant idea is this whole thing?

Most importantly, who makes sure these “kids” leave the country when their time is up?

* Check them out here—it’s all about evil Hershey’s Chocolates!  And, you know what else is funny?  They are located in New Orleans, isn’t that where ACORN and all its spin-offs were located too?

CAIR files complaint with EEOC against Electrolux in St. Cloud, MN (again)

Here we go again—religious discrimination in the workplace—prayer break problems during Ramadan upsets Somalis (sounds of snoring!).  Hat tip: Dave

From City Pages:

For the third time in eight years, Muslim employees of Electrolux, the Swedish appliance giant with a plant in St. Cloud, have complained that the company is denying them religious freedom in the work place.

In a nearly-identical complaint to one filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2010, Muslim employees claim that Electrolux is not accommodating necessary practices during the month-long Ramadan fast.

Last year, a mediation granted employees a shifting 30-minute break, to allow for a meal and prayers to break the fast. This year, the company’s cut back on the lunch break, and 150 Muslim employees say they don’t have enough time.

The employees filed their EEOC complaint through the Minnesota chapter of the Council for American Islamic Relations.

Pipe Line News cuts to the chase and tells us this is about the stealth jihad!

The company employs approximately 150 Muslim workers, whom CAIR has been taking advantage of in order to foment the type of civilizational/cultural jihad proposed by the Muslim Brotherhood and its numerous front groups.


To many, the prospect of a pressure group advocating on behalf of its constituency is unremarkable however the above outlined type of dispute reflects something far more insidious. It’s a clear demonstration of the ability of Shari’a proponents to employ the West’s numerous freedoms and rights against itself – a seditious stealth weapon – designed to weaken and eventually overturn constitutional government.


And, its perhaps even more insidious here because my theory is that St. Cloud has been targeted and the Islamists are working with hard Left agitators. Here is a detailed post I wrote in 2010 about who the agitators are.   You will see that Electrolux is not the only company targeted by CAIR (a chicken processing factory was sued as was the school system) in St. Cloud which is in MICHELE BACHMANN’S CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT!

Type ‘St. Cloud’ into our search function and see the many posts originating from there.

Rough patches ahead for Cargill in Ft. Morgan, CO

A few years ago we created a whole category here at RRW on the Somali demands for special prayer breaks at Greeley’s JBS Swift and Company meatpacking plant (Grand Island, NE was involved too).  You can visit that category here.

Some of those fired workers (and frankly agitators) went to the Cargill plant in Ft. Morgan.  Here is a story that ran in the Denver Post the same day as everything is peachy with Muslim immigrants in Ft. Morgan, here.   You can tell they are working up to “issues” developing there too.

Although Cargill’s Fort Morgan operation has escaped controversy over accommodating the religious needs of its Muslim workforce, an undercurrent of problems exists, according to current and former workers and Somali translators.

Company officials say they respect religious rights and follow the law but cannot undermine a plant that produces 4 million pounds of beef daily.

“We know that some of our employees would like a guaranteed prayer time every day,” said Cargill spokesman Michael Martin. “That is not the legal requirement, and it would be impractical to accommodate this without shutting down the production line.”

He said the company accommodates the vast majority of daily prayer requests.

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers cannot deny a “reasonable” religious accommodation request as long as it does not pose an undue hardship, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Muslims pray five times a day at prescribed times that move depending on the sun’s position. That can pose challenges for plants with many Muslim workers. One-fourth of Cargill’s 2,000 workers are Somali, company officials say.  [Kind of negates any sympathy one might have for the company when they brought this on themselves by their own hiring practices.—ed]

The number of federal workplace-discrimination complaints filed by Muslims shot up in 2009 and 2010, to almost 800 each year, the EEOC says. Those numbers eclipsed the decade’s previous high mark the year after 9/11.

Then here is a reference to the Greeley mess I referred to in the opening above.

Cargill has avoided the rancor that has plagued JBS Swift & Co. in Greeley and other food plants nationwide. In 2008, about 100 Somali Muslim workers were fired after they did not report to work in protest of Swift’s refusal to give them a prayer break during the holy month of Ramadan.

Agitate, agitate, agitate, year after year.   Kind of makes turning to vegetarianism more appealing all the time!

Bhutanese refugees shot in Baltimore, one dead

It was only two days ago we told you that a young Bhutanese (Nepalese) woman is missing in Prince George’s County,* MD when news comes that two refugees were shot in Baltimore and one died (so far).  The article is not accurate on how many Bhutanese have been resettled in the US to date (the number resettled so far in the US is closer to 42,000, here.  Last week the UN celebrated the 50,000th Bhutanese to leave camps for the West).

From the Baltimore Sun:

Two Bhutanese refugees were shot, one of them fatally, in an apparent robbery in Northeast Baltimore, one of two double-shootings investigated by Baltimore police Tuesday night.

Big Bahadur Gurung, 20, had immigrated here from Nepal two months ago, after being given sanctuary following years of persecution in his home country, said Holly Leon-Lierman, the outreach manager for the International Rescue Committee, which helps refugees assimilate.  [He was likely not persecuted in Bhutan or in Nepal because someone as young as Gurung most likely grew up in the camps in Nepal since they have been there for two decades.—ed]

“He came here seeking freedom and safety,” Leon-Lierman said. “These are people who were persecuted for a long time, and it really makes this attack all the more tragic.”

The incident is the latest in a series of crimes that have sparked concern for members of Baltimore’s Nepalese and Bhutanese community, which officials say is centered in Northeast Baltimore’s Frankford neighborhood and has been growing in recent years.

Officers were called to the Parkside Gardens apartments in the 5200 block of Bowleys Lane at 10:12 p.m. for a report of a double shooting, and found two men suffering from gunshot injuries. A 17-year-old male, also an immigrant who arrived here last year, was shot multiple times in the torso and taken to an area hospital in critical condition.

Gurung, of the 4900 block of Gunther Ave., was shot in the chest and was pronounced dead.

Bhutan is a tiny kingdom in South Asia located at the eastern end of the Himalayas. For years, thousands of Bhutanese of Nepali descent have been fleeing the country, alleging ethnic and political repression, and were stranded in Nepalese refugee camps.

In 2007, the United States announced it would offer sanctuary to up to 60,000 refugees, with Ellen Sauerbrey, then the director of the State Department’s refugee division and a former Republican state legislator from Maryland, playing a key role. More than 30,000 refugees have settled in the United States since then, one of the largest refugee groups in recent years, according to news reports. More than 700 have settled in Baltimore.

The Bhutanese are mostly Hindu and a twenty year old like the young man murdered in Baltimore possibly lived his entire life in the security of a United Nations Refugee Camp in Nepal sheltered from the crime that plagues cities like Baltimore.   I’m sure they make an easy target for inner-city thugs.

But like other immigrant populations, they have encountered challenges in their new home. The IRC has been working with police and city officials over concerns about robberies and violence, with advocates and community leaders organizing meetings.

Frances Tinsley, the IRC’s director since April, said the crimes are isolated and there is no evidence that Bhutanese refugees have been targeted, and she said the group’s work is largely proactive.

“Baltimore has been an accepting community, but it is also an urban city and we have to do the best we can to make sure these newcomers feel safe,” Tinsley said.

For new readers, it’s the same old story—resettlement agencies imagine a neighborhood is “welcoming” and place naive newcomers into a multicultural mix that is anything but welcoming (or accepting!).   But, bottom line, it’s all about the bucks—apartments are cheaper—so that’s where these agencies, even rich ones like the IRC, place refugees!

I just typed ‘Bhutanese murdered’ into the search function here at RRW and up came this archive of all the problems the Bhutanese are experiencing—others murdered, one killed by an abortion doctor, inner city beatings, suicides, and the list goes on.

* No word that I’ve seen so far on her whereabouts.

Addendum:  Maryland has resettled a total of 32,986 refugees through 2008 (check out the appendix of the 2008 Annual Report to Congress, here).