Ft. Morgan, CO article discusses the challenges of refugee overload

No jobs! Disrespect for rental property! Don’t speak English! Need more child care! Not enough housing for refugees!

Back in 2008 we wrote about “welcoming” Ft. Morgan, CO home of agribusiness giant Cargill.  By the way, do you think Senator Jeff Sessions was referring to Cargill when he said the meat packers were driving the S.744 train and the Gang of Eight (cheap immigrant labor!), here?

If so, since there are so many unemployed refugees, why do we need more immigrant labor?

Cargill Meat Solutions in Ft. Morgan, CO. I’m now wondering if the meat packer giant, probably the largest employer there, controls the newspaper.

A few years ago, Somali refugees which had caused problems in Greeley and were fired  by JBS Swift after a row over prayer times during work  began flowing to a thrilled-to-have-them Ft. Morgan (or at least the Ft. Morgan Times was thrilled).

Here is one of many many posts on Somalis shopping for the most accommodating meat packers.  We have a whole category on Greeley, JBS Swift and Somalis, here.

In 2008, the Ft. Morgan Times actually editorialized saying that Refugee Resettlement Watch (not by name, but who else would it be), was a blog teaching people how to chase refugees away, and represented the “dark ugly underside” of America.  Click here for my take on their broadside.

Here is what the editor said about us!

Of course, if it were up to some people, Somali refugees would not have a chance to resettle anywhere in the U.S. There is even a Web site devoted to teaching Americans how to chase refugees of various sorts out of town.

This is a kind of insanity, since everyone except Native Americans are immigrants. Unfortunately, it shows the dark, ugly underside of our great country.

Just now, in trying to figure out how to post this latest news from the Ft. Morgan Times, I realize we have dozens of posts on the problems Ft. Morgan has had with its refugee overload going back five years (click here for the whole listing).  There were tensions in the community, in 2010 they brought in Justice Department community facilitators,  the Chief of Police went to Denmark to learn how to deal with Somali Muslim refugees, there was even a Somali honor killing.  I had never heard of the federal facilitators before Ft. Morgan, had you?  Here is what the article in the Ft. Morgan Times said then:

Essentially, it is a mediation agency which helps deal with cases involving changing community demographics, hate crimes, demonstrations and emotionally charged issues…

Fast forward to last week:

Based on this story in the Ft. Morgan Times, it sure sounds like, ho-hum, the town is still having problems with its Cargill-generated immigrant overload. (Hat tip: Joanne).  But, Cargill doesn’t have enough jobs for all the immigrants so that is the rub (why then do we need more immigrant laborers as per S.744?).

A quarterly meeting was hosted by the following:

Joe Wismann-Horther of Colorado Refugee Services, OneMorgan County Executive Director Brenda Zion and Ryan Gray of Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains hosted the quarterly refugee services meeting Tuesday.

The news report is written like it’s just someone’s lengthy notes of the meeting.  Here are some of the points that interested me:

* Refugees don’t speak English so go unemployed and they take lousy care of rental property.

Among issues mentioned were the need for properties to be taken better care of, day care for refugees, support for business development and employment.

Outside of jobs at Cargill Meat Solutions, there are few local jobs for refugees who do not speak English very well.

One idea is to look at how to develop job skills and how to work with Fort Morgan’s Workforce Center, said Joe Wismann-Horther of Colorado Refugee Services.

Local agencies and businesses could discuss how to develop employment options for refugees who do not work at Cargill.

Cargill only has a limited number of jobs, said Shirley Penn, coordinator for Cargill’s and Morgan Community College’s Workplace Education program.


It is difficult for refugees to take classes in business when they do not have high-level English skills, said OneMorgan County Executive Director Brenda Zion.


Some refugees do not understand what is expected with properties they rent, such as weed control, said Fort Morgan Police Chief Keith Kuretich.

* Colorado Refugee Services rep says more refugees are coming because after ten years they can bring family.  What the heck? They can bring family anytime, they need not wait ten years.  What he is obliquely referring to here is that Somalis were banned from 2008 until recently to bring their “family” members because the State Department uncovered massive fraud in 2008.  Gee, about 30,000 were not family members!  They had lied. Either the reporter didn’t know enough to clarify what was said by Wismann-Horther, or it was purposefully left out of the story.

The city may see a new development for refugees soon, as they are in the U.S. for 10 years and can start bringing relatives from their native countries, he said.

The U.S. refugee program is overseeing that possibility by requiring DNA testing to make sure people really are relatives, Wismann-Horther said.   [At this point wouldn’t you think someone would ask/report to the public what that is all about!—ed]

* We only allow refugees from certain countries for a limited time—say what!  There is no rule about this, I personally think that contractors are out scouting for new ethnic groups because they tire of the ones they have been resettling after a time.

And, Wismann-Horther is wrong about Somalis, we are bringing a very large number this year. We are on target to rival the top years (during the Bush Administration) with possibly 9,000-10,000 if the present trend continues.

He said that immigration from places like Bhutan and Burma are falling off now, as have immigrants from Somalia. The U.S. refugee program only allows people from countries for a limited amount of time.

Wismann-Horther told the gathering to get ready for the Congolese as the “next stream.”    We know—50,000! Are you ready for your share, Colorado?

* Surprise! Not enough housing for all the refugees.

A huge issue is the “zero vacancy rate” in Fort Morgan, she [Board of Realtors Director] said. New people come to the city and cannot find anywhere to live.

Wismann-Horther at that point goes on about possibly building new housing (for jobless immigrants who are having problems keeping their present properties maintained?)

The article goes on and on, you can read it all here.

Signing off from the dark ugly underside of America!

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