North Carolina: Refugees out of Work and Struggling

This story is no surprise and I expect there will be many more like it in the coming days and weeks.

Refugees work at menial labor—cleaning hotel and dorm rooms, working in restaurant kitchens, etc. all no longer essential services—and they are increasingly unemployed (however $$$ is on the way from the feds).

I guess we can say it sure is a good thing that the Trump administration cut the flow of refugees to America starting last October or we would have even more unhappy, struggling people as those described here.

From The Daily Tar Heel:

Refugees in Orange County struggle to make ends meet amid COVID-19 economic hardships

All those North Carolinians who have been ‘welcoming’ refugees to the state for the last decade need to get out there now and pay the rent, tutor the kids and feed/clothe the impoverished people they invited to their towns and cities.

Coronavirus has forced many families to alter their ways of life. Although COVID-19 has impacted almost every Orange County resident, a group that has been especially devastated is the local refugee community.

Refugees can already be a vulnerable population without something like the coronavirus, said Flicka Bateman, director of the Refugee Support Center, a volunteer-based organization that helps transition refugees in Orange County to their new lives.

“I know people who’ve been here less than three weeks, I can’t imagine what in the world for them it must be like,” she said. “They’re totally uprooted, they’ve left situations that were full of violence and uncertainty, and then they come here and instead of being able to learn English and get all these services, suddenly they’re told to stay where they are and people will do the best they can remotely. It’s just very tough.”

Orange County has about 1,200 refugees, primarily from Burma, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Syria. [It would be many more if Trump had not cut the flow this year—ed]. Bateman said a lot of refugees in the area have lost their jobs or seen reduced hours, especially those who work in restaurants or hotels, or in food service and housekeeping at UNC, where dorms have been closed and dining services have been severely reduced.

[….]

Adam Clark https://worldreliefdurham.org/staff

Adam Clark, office director of World Relief Durham, a refugee resettlement agency based in Durham that serves refugees across the Triangle area, said programs that help refugees with employment have seen a spike in applications due to a greater amount of people needing sudden job assistance.

He said they’ve seen about 20-30 unemployment applications among refugees just in the last week, and a long list of people are already waiting.

“There are a lot of refugees worried about their rent, obviously the same things that are affecting everyone,” he said. “But I think it just affects them even more because of the sectors they work in.”

Hannah Olmstead, a junior at UNC who is a part-time caseworker at World Relief Durham, said as local school districts transition to online instruction, many refugee parents don’t have the English ability or understanding of American education to homeschool their children.

More here.

A public relations graphic from 2015 (Obama) refugee boom times:

I know it is hard to read. The original is here: https://charlotteawake.com/refugeeinfographics/

 

 

Meatpackers and COVID-19: Will the Supply of Meat Take a Hit as Workers Get Sick?

That is the gist of this story from ProPublica (a Leftwing publication), which reports on how the virus is creeping into slaughterhouses across the country.

However, meat industry reps are optimistic that the virus will not slow meat production and that the virus won’t end up in the food supply.

Longtime readers know that Big Meat has been changing America one town at a time as it relies heavily on immigrant and refugee labor and as such has been a favorite topic of mine here at RRW since 2008 when I first learned that Bill Clinton was helping supply his meatpacking buddies with refugee labor from Bosnia.

What Happens If Workers Cutting Up the Nation’s Meat Get Sick?

As meatpackers rush to meet demand, their employees are starting to get COVID-19. But some workers say they’re going to work ill because they don’t have paid sick days and can be penalized for staying home.

Here’s what has happened in the meatpacking industry in the last week alone:

A federal food safety inspector in New York City, who oversaw meat processing plants, died from the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

A poultry worker in Mississippi, employed by America’s third largest chicken company, tested positive for the virus, causing a half-dozen workers to self-quarantine. Another worker in South Dakota, employed by the world’s largest pork producer, also tested positive.

In Georgia, dozens of workers walked out of a Perdue Farms chicken plant, demanding that the company do more to protect them.

Can they keep up with the demand? “Grocery meat sales, excluding deli meat, surged a staggering 77% for the week ending March 15.”

And Tyson Foods told ProPublica on Friday that “a limited number of team members” had tested positive for the disease.

As COVID-19 makes its way across the country, leading to panic grocery buying in state after state, the stresses on the nation’s food supply chain have ratcheted ever higher. But in industries like meatpacking, which rely on often grueling shoulder-to-shoulder work, so have the risks to workers’ health.

In interviews this week, meat and poultry workers, some in the country without authorization, noted with irony that they have recently been labeled “essential” by an administration now facing down a pandemic. Yet the rules of their workplaces — and the need to keep food moving — pressure them to work in close quarters, even when sick.

[….]

Many of the nation’s meatpackers declined to respond to specific questions about how they’ve dealt with infected workers or what they’ve done to try to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in their plants. Or they offered vague assurances that workers are being protected.

So far, only two meatpacking companies — Tyson Foods and Cargill — have announced companywide temperature checks to screen employees for signs of the virus. Two more say they have begun rolling them out.

But except for unionized plants, meat and poultry workers rarely get paid when they’re sick. At many companies, including Tyson, workers receive disciplinary points for calling in sick. Because points lead to termination, workers told ProPublica, they and some of their colleagues have continued to work even when sick, despite the coronavirus.

[….]

Even before the coronavirus, the meat industry had complained of a labor shortage as low pay and harsh conditions collided with a tight labor market, tighter borders and dramatic reductions by the Trump administration in the number of refugees, who make up the backbone of many plants’ workforce.

[….]

“Our primary focus is to keep our plants running so that we can feed America,” Tyson’s president, Dean Banks, said on CNN. “We’re running the plants as hard as we can.”

And some analysts note that even if an outbreak of the virus forced a plant to close, the industry — with more than 500,000 employees at 4,000 slaughterhouses and processing plants across the country — is big enough to absorb the loss.

There is much more, it is a long article, continue here.

In the summer of 2016 I traveled around the midwest and west to have a look at meatpacking towns and how the cheap labor demands of Big Meat were changing America.

My conclusion:

If you can’t live without meat, my recommendation is to find a local producer so you know just where and how your food has been processed.

Note that I have a tag for COVID-19 posts here at RRW.

You might be interested in my previous post about Bowling Green, Kentucky and its newly unemployed refugees.

 

‘Advocates’ Want Unaccompanied Alien Teens Released from Custody

They call those being taken care of by the Office of Refugee Resettlement and its contractors “children,” but when you see the data only 15% in a recent year were under twelve and 71% of all those apprehended were boys.  So, therefore, I refer to those being housed as teens.

Here is the story at CBS and not a surprise in light of the push to release all illegal aliens from detention because of the Virus Crisis.

3 migrant children in U.S. custody test positive for coronavirus

Three unaccompanied migrant children in U.S. government custody have tested positive for the coronavirus, federal officials said Thursday, highlighting concerns among advocates about the vulnerability of detained immigrants during the global pandemic.

The three minors, who are housed in a shelter in New York, are the first confirmed coronavirus cases among the 3,600 unaccompanied children in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, or ORR. In response to the outbreak, the refugee agency has stopped releasing migrant children in New York facilities to sponsors, who are typically family members living in the U.S.

Carlos Holguin of the.Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law has filed a lawsuit seeking to release the teens from custody. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/advocates-seek-release-of-migrant-children-in-u-s-custody-amid-coronavirus-concerns/

[….]

Officials also revealed on Thursday that the number of positive coronavirus cases among staff members and contractors at facilities for unaccompanied migrant children has grown to seven.

[….]

Coronavirus is particularly dangerous for older people and those with underlying medical issues, but children and young people can carry and transmit the virus, even if the risk of serious illness is relatively low. Migrant minors in ORR custody crossed the southern border without parents or guardians, or in certain circumstances, were separated from them.

[….]

The announcement on Thursday is likely to fuel even more calls for the Trump administration to quickly release some of the tens of thousands of immigrants it is currently detaining, especially as the public health crisis to contain the coronavirus intensifies. On Wednesday, lawyers asked a federal court in California to require officials to release unaccompanied migrant children who have been in government custody for more than a month or transfer them to facilities where social distancing can be reasonably practiced.

If they want to keep the teens and the community safe they are better off keeping them in custody and not allowing them to mingle throughout city neighborhoods (interacting with the elderly!) that might not be taking the precautions that facilities supervised by the federal Dept. of Health and Human Services surely do about cleanliness.

Open Borders advocates never rest as they are, as usual, not letting a good crisis go to waste!

 

Special Afghan Refugees Still Arriving in US Says Resettlement Contractor

Although as you know by now the arrival of refugees has all but stopped due to travel restrictions put in place worldwide.

The UN halted refugee travel a few days ago and the US State Department has reported that no new refugees will arrive now before April 6th.

However, I have been on the hunt to find out if Special Immigrant Visas are still coming in and sure enough they are.

Thanks to a reader for spotting this e-mail from Lutheran Social Services National Capital Area:

Now check this out!  They want a piece of a House goody bag! You’ve been reading that Nancy and her Democrat pals are working on a massive giveaway that apparently the refugee contractors expect to benefit from!

 

I have been checking the data at Wrapsnet (Refugee Processing Center) and sure enough 211 Afghans (who receive all the benefits regular refugees are entitled to) arrived this week bringing the total for the month of March (3 weeks) to 660 from Afghanistan.

That brings the overall total to over 66,000 since FY2008 when this effort to bring Afghan ‘interpreters’ to American towns began.

Although there is no data readily available on where the 211 were placed in the last week, one might expect they were placed in the usual top sites—obviously in Virginia and Maryland as LSS reported in its e-mail.

In this fiscal year (FY2020) that began on October 1, 2019 these are the top five states that ‘welcomed’ Afghan interpreters and their relatives.

California (2,697)

Texas (1,280)

Virginia (730)

Maryland (510)

Washington (489)

So, as your travel is being restricted, planes are still in the air bringing Afghans here for American taxpayers to support!

And, btw, Afghanistan has COVID-19. Are the arriving special refugees being tested?

COVID-19 News: NGOs in Europe Call on Governments to Take Better Care of Migrants

This is a bit of maddening news!

Non-profit groups that have encouraged the migration of Africans and Middle Easterners to Europe for a decade or more are now demanding the governments of Greece and France do more to protect migrants as the virus crisis deepens.

Why?

Because as one official at Catholic Charities Caritas said: “[W]e need to protect our volunteers and staff.”

What! So governments need to send in government workers instead of their ‘volunteers!’

Here is the invasion of Europe news from The Guardian:

NGOs raise alarm as coronavirus strips support from EU refugees

Governments across Europe are facing calls to urgently put into place measures to protect refugees and migrants – in particular lone children – as the coronavirus epidemic sees volunteer numbers plunge and many vital support services close.

On Tuesday, groups working with refugees and unaccompanied children in France and Greece implored the authorities in both countries to provide urgent help to refugees and unaccompanied minors, whom they say have been effectively abandoned by the authorities. [Abandoned by authorities? Sounds like abandoned by the NGOs!—ed]

NYC based International Rescue Committee (led by moneybags Miliband) is one group that is demanding Greece and France do more. They said in a statement this week: “The physical health and safety of our staff, our clients, and our communities is the International Rescue Committee’s top priority globally.” “Clients” are refugees. Community does not mean your town, it means their community of migrants and volunteers.

In France, a group of 24 organisations sent a letter to the French government and the mayors of Calais and Grande-Synthe imploring them to provide urgent interventions to refugees and migrants in northern France.

In the letter, the organisations, which include Médecins du Monde and Refugee Rights Europe, say:

“The situation of exiled people is unspeakable: lack of accommodation, cold, humidity, stress, fatigue, crowding together in light tents, daily expulsion from places of life, deplorable sanitary conditions.”

The groups say that, in the absence of any other protection measures, the state should provide accommodation and basic food distribution as well as access to hot water and soap to try to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus among the migrant community.

[….]

The groups, including the IRC [International Rescue Committee], Human Rights Watch, and the Danish Refugee Council among others, also called for a raft of protective measures including an end to deportations and pressing forward with relocation and family reunion programmes for unaccompanied minors across Europe.

[….]

One charity in northern France told the Guardian they are losing desperately needed volunteers as the epidemic takes hold across the continent.

No kidding!  When the s*** hits the fan, the fair-weather do-gooders beg for government help!

More here.

If you are a new reader, and want to know more about the ‘Invasion of Europe’ my archives are here. To learn all about moneybags Miliband, click here. 

This is the IRC’s statement on the refugee shutdown that begins (supposedly) today in the US.