And, check out who admits that Meatpackers have been drivers behind the importation of cheap immigrant labor, specifically refugees!
Thanks to reader Deena for spotting this!
Big Meat Braces for a Refugee Shortage
Reporters Lauren Etter and Shruti Singh at Bloomberg (emphasis below is mine):
Word of President Trump’s executive order barring the entry of international refugees shocked Fort Morgan, a town of 11,000 on the snowy plains of Colorado, some 80 miles northeast of Denver. Many of the workers at a Cargill Meat Solutions plant that’s the town’s largest employer emigrated from Somalia and Myanmar and had been waiting months, if not years, for relatives to join them. Now they’re afraid that reunion might never happen. As a result, the plant in Fort Morgan and other meatpacking plants in the U.S. that have dozens of openings may have to scramble to find a new labor pool.
Trump’s decision to sharply curtail the number of refugees admitted into the U.S. may lead Big Meat to recalibrate its recruitment practices.
While a federal court has temporarily suspended the administration’s four-month ban on new arrivals, not affected is Trump’s plan to slash refugee admissions from 110,000 to 50,000 in the current fiscal year.
Refugees have been a fixture within the meat processing workforce since 2006, when immigration officials under President George W. Bush raided plants in several states, leading to the arrest of about 1,300 undocumented workers. Companies “realized that their business model of hiring undocumented people was causing problems for them,” says Lavinia Limón, chief executive officer of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, a resettlement organization. “So they moved to the refugee population.”
More here. I’m quoted saying that maybe it’s time BIG MEAT paid higher wages and hired American workers!
Ms. Limon must have forgotten that it was Bill Clinton in the mid-1990’s who first made Bosnian refugee labor available to his meatpacking pals (remember those cattle futures!) in Iowa, see here.
Ms. Limon was his Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement at the time! How could she have forgotten!
“And IBP’s good fortune didn’t end there,” Limbacher continues, “turns out the Clinton administration’s Bosnian refugee resettlement efforts also helped to keep labor costs down. Since 1995, for instance, the town of Waterloo, Iowa — population 65,000 – has been swamped with 6,000 Bosnian refugees, many of whom wound up working for the No. 1 local employer, IBP.”
(Iowa Beef was ultimately absorbed by Tyson Foods).
If you missed my post this morning where I argue that Trump could still stop most of the flow from terror hotspots by further reducing the refugee ceiling for this year from 50,000 to 35,000 (we are at over 33,000 now), be sure to have a look.
US Refugee law must be reformed and curtailing the program might serve as an incentive for Congress to get off the dime and do it! If threats of terrorism can’t move them, maybe threats in a decline in cheap immigrant labor for big global corporations and the Chamber of Commerce might.