Sander’s Iowa Campaign Successfully Organized Slaughterhouse Immigrant/Refugee Workers

But were they US citizens legally permitted to vote?

As you may know I watch CNN in the morning for a few minutes so I know what the talking points and marching orders are for the Left on any given day.  Today I learned that the Bernie Sanders campaign is drumming up support from immigrant/refugee enclaves in the US and did so successfully in Iowa.

I told you just two days ago that he was also working that sector hard in New Hampshire.

If you had any doubts that the Democrat/Socialist’s strategy is to use more immigration to turn America blue, look no further than Bernie’s presidential bid.

Needless to say, when CNN reported  this morning on how Iowa meat packing companies were fertile ground for organizing, I perked up.

JBS US headquarters in Greeley, CO. My photo from 2016 road trip to visit meat packing towns. JBS is a Brazilian owned company!

Long time readers know that I have made it an important element of RRW to report on how refugee admissions are driven by meat packer’s desire for a steady supply of cheap, captive labor in the form of refugees and other immigrants.

Here is a detailed account in a socialist publication bragging about how Bernie appealed to the workers at one pork plant in Iowa owned by JBS the Brazilian-owned company I have been writing about for more than ten years!

See one of my earliest posts on how Bill Clinton brought refugee labor for his pals in the Iowa meat industry.


No mention anywhere about whether they were US citizens voting legally!


From The Jacobin:

How Bernie’s Iowa Campaign Organized Immigrant Workers at the Factory Gates

The first caucus-goers in Iowa yesterday were immigrant workers at a meat processing plant — and they all voted for Bernie Sanders. Here’s how they were organized, and why it shows once again that Bernie’s campaign is like nothing we’ve seen before.

At the time of this writing, we are still awaiting results — and a lot of answers — from the shambolic Iowa caucus. But two things we already know: Bernie Sanders appears to have come out on top, and we’ve never seen a presidential campaign like his before in American politics.

On Monday at noon, Iowa’s first caucus-goers filtered into a union hall in Ottumwa. Fourteen of them were there to caucus for Bernie Sanders, almost all immigrants, primarily from Ethiopia but also from Honduras and Macedonia. They were workers at JBS Pork, the largest employer in Wapello County.

Two-and-a-half thousand workers are employed at Ottumwa’s JBS plant. They come from nearly fifty countries.


Bernie Sanders’s platform has a lot to offer workers like those at JBS. It calls for stronger unions, higher wages, better benefits, and an end to at-will employment, for starters. Labor scholar Barry Eidlin called Sanders’s Workplace Democracy Plan the “most serious, comprehensive, and equitable plan for promoting workers’ rights ever proposed by a major US presidential candidate.”


In a strategy more reminiscent of labor organizing than anything typically seen in presidential politics, the Sanders campaign assigned several people — including field organizers Tristan Bock Hughes, Charisa Wotherspoon, Devon Severson, and the campaign’s National Labor Organizer Jonah Furman — to post up at the gates of the JBS meat processing plant. For several nights, they canvassed outside the factory from 10 PM to 3 AM, engaging workers in conversation as their shifts ended. The campaign organizers spoke to workers in multiple languages about their lives, their work, and Sanders’s platform and campaign.

The campaign’s strategy was to find people enthusiastic about Sanders and convince them to not only caucus for him, but to get their coworkers to caucus for him as well. An example of one such person was Wendwosen Biftu, an Ethiopian worker who was excited about Sanders from the beginning. After being canvassed outside the plant, Biftu came to the field office with his ten-year-old daughter, who helped translate for him, and expressed an interest in organizing others to caucus for Sanders.

Ethiopians are likely refugees. He doesn’t speak English, is he a US citizen?  Sure hope someone in Iowa is checking the voter rolls!

On Monday evening, Sanders campaign press secretary Briahna Joy Gray confirmed on CBS that this was indeed the official strategy. “A group that normally isn’t reached out to, pork packers, predominately Ethiopian immigrants, caucused and voted overwhelmingly for Bernie Sanders,” Gray said of the Ottumwa workers, adding that she believes the Sanders campaign is “most able to build the kind of grassroots, broad-based, working-class support that’s required to defeat Donald Trump in a general election.”


Continue reading here.

This 2017 post is one of many posts I have written over the years about what I have dubbed BIG MEAT—the giant globalist meat companies changing America by changing the people. See how Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is involved and Ottumwa is mentioned.

Refugees with low education levels needed for jobs like meatpacking

Michael Patrick Leahy at Breitbart yesterday analyzed the education levels of refugees arriving at record numbers in the US right now as Obama gets ready to vacate the White House.

Residents told me that Somalis working for Cargill have changed the town of Ft. Morgan, Colorado. Photo:

Readers here know that I have been for years discussing the role that BIG MEAT plays in the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program and my 6,000 mile tour of America this past summer took me to several major meatpacking towns being changed by the influx of large numbers of Somalis to supply cheap labor to meat industry giants like JBS in Greeley, Colorado and Cargill in Ft. Morgan.
(I also visited meatpacking towns in Minnesota and North and South Dakota.)
Here is Leahy reporting on the fact that Somalis enter the US with the least education of any refugee group thus making them desirable employees for the beef and poultry industry (LOL! Not pork!).

Somalis are the least educated group of refugees who have arrived in the United States during the first three months of FY 2017.

As Breitbart News reported previously, the Obama administration has resettled 25,671 refugees in the country during the three month period beginning October 1, 2016 and ending December 30, 2016. This is almost double the number of refugees resettled in the United States during the same period in the prior fiscal year, FY 2016.

More than 85 percent of these refugees arrived from just eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Burma, Ukraine, Bhutan, and Iran.


The levels of education of arriving refugees from these eight countries vary widely. More than 71 percent of refugees arriving from the Ukraine have achieved high school level or higher training (secondary, university, professional, or technical degrees). At the other end of the spectrum, less than nine percent of refugees from Somalia arrived with high school level or higher training.


Somalis, in particular, are heavily employed in the meat packing industry.

The consequence of the availability of low skill, low wage refugees to fill jobs in the meat packing and related industries has been to keep wages down and limit employment opportunities in those industries for low skilled American citizens living near those meat packing plants. The plants also need a steady supply of new healthy workers to replace the workers whose hands are eventually damaged by the rapid repetitive motions required in the high-speed, low-tech slaughterhouse line.

A number of communities have experienced this problem over the past decade, including Shelbyville, TennesseeLiberal, KansasFort Morgan, ColoradoAustin, Minnesota; and Grand Island, Nebraska.

It is an extensive report, continue reading here.
I have been told by readers over the years, and by some living in meatpacking towns, that meatpacking was a desirable job for Americans a couple of decades ago, but when these global corporations discovered immigrant (cheap!) labor all that changed.  Refugees supplement their wages with your welfare subsidies!

Austin, MN: Meatpackers changing the demographics of American towns

There is nothing earth-shattering in this article from MPR News, but it’s just further evidence of the role the meatpacking industry is playing in changing towns in America’s heartland with its avaricious desire for cheap labor—refugee labor!  (Remember Senator Sessions called the meatpackers out here last year as a driving force behind amnesty).

We have been following this topic for going on seven years first brought to our attention by the turmoil created by Somali workers demanding workplace accommodation for their ‘religious’ requirements.  We have an entire category entitled, Greeley/Swift/Somali controversy, where we archived posts on the topic.

But, you know what is really funny (sort of) is that the meatpackers apparently got sick of the Somali workers in some places and must have asked the US State Department (and their contractors***) for some more docile workers like these Burmese Karen Christians or the mostly Hindu Bhutanese refugees we have been bringing in ever since Bush “welcomed” them in 2007.

The refugees are basically cheap, legal, captive laborers which you subsidize through the myriad social services they receive (see our fact sheet for the list of welfare programs open to refugees).


The largest employer in Austin, MN, Hormel and Quality Pork. Photo from a NYT article in 2008 about a mystery illness there.


From MPR News (hat tip: Deb):

St. Paul is home to the largest Karen population in the country. But in recent years, Austin has attracted hundreds of the Karen and Karenni people.

Austin, a meatpacking town that has seen big demographic changes in the last few decades, started attracting workers from Mexico and Latin America in the early 1990s, followed by a wave of African immigrants. [The meatpackers used illegal labor from south of the border until the feds clamped down and then they discovered refugee labor thanks to Bill Clinton—ed]

The city’s growing Karen population is the first influx of minorities that has not been Latino or African, and the change has come fast.

According to the city’s Welcome Center, the number of Karen and Karenni residents in Austin nearly tripled to 1,224 this year, up from 463 in 2012. Driven out of their long-adopted home of Myanmar to camps in Thailand, the members of the two groups are flowing to the United States as refugees.

That means they can work legally, and some have replaced other immigrants at workplaces like Austin’s Hormel and Quality Pork processing plants, Austin schools superintendent David Krenz said.

Of course this massive plant in Austin would not have had Somali workers in the first place!  (Pork of course!).

The Minnesota resettlement agencies affiliated with the federal government are listed here.  They are subcontractors of the big Volags below.  BTW, they call themselves Voluntary Agencies (Volags), but that is an obvious misnomer as most are nearly completely funded by tax dollars.

***The federal migrant resettlement contractors which we have followed for years (Grant recipient big dogs (devouring federal cash) Baptist Child and Family Services and Southwest Key Programs  are new on the scene in recent years and mostly due to UACs.):

How the state of Iowa stopped being a refugee resettlement contractor

Tysons’ pork processing plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa still bringing in the refugees—Burmese this time.

This is probably going to be inside baseball for some readers here.  But, when we first began writing Refugee Resettlement Watch in 2007, there were TEN major federal refugee contractors instead of the NINE today.   The tenth contractor was the State of Iowa.

I’m guessing this Iowa office was a booming operation during the Clinton years as the Clinton Administration helped their pals in the meatpacking industry by hauling in tens of thousands of Bosnians to supply the much-need cheap LEGAL labor.

Here then is a long story about workplace legal wrangling (wade through the first 25 paragraphs or so) and this is what the upshot of the mess in the office created for the resettlement program.  I had wondered how they fell out of favor with the US State Department.

From the Des Moines Register (emphasis mine):

Colbert and Phillips contend that problems in the Refugee Bureau outlined in the court records are a window for the public to better understand the downfall of the agency — specifically its decision in 2010 to stop its resettlement service.

Phillips said that the agency, under Wilken, failed to apply for grants and key subsidies for the resettlement program.

Resettlement was for decades the lynchpin of the bureau, which dates back to former Gov. Robert Ray’s legacy work with Tai Dam refugees. The agency has since helped hundreds of refugee families escape war-torn or politically rife countries.

Today the agency — which is federally funded — focuses on social services instead of refugee resettlement.

“People are afraid that in two years, refugee services will completely cease to exist,” said Phillips, who now works in the human resources department at the Mitchellville Correctional Facility.

Lorentzen McCoy, the DHS spokeswoman, noted that the resettlement decision was made when the U.S. Department of State determined that the Iowa agency did not meet the criteria to continue with the placement program.

Colbert, who was hired in 2007 around the same time that Wilken was promoted to the bureau’s director, said federal officials had alerted Iowa of concerns it had with the resettlement program.

She contends that Wilken, who was the bureau’s deputy director for roughly 20 years prior to his promotion, didn’t act to save the program and even told her he would be satisfied if that part of the program would be terminated because other federal program money would keep the bureau going.

Records provided by the state show the bureau’s current budget of $1.9 million is about $200,000 lower than it was in 2010, when the resettlement program ended.

“I can tell you that when I got there they were in trouble. It was pages and pages of stuff that was wrong,” Colbert said of the Department of State’s assessment.

But, if you think you are off the hook in Iowa, you aren’t, there are at least two agencies resettling refugees in the state—Lutheran Services and Catholic Charities.

In fact, if we are going to have resettlement in the first place, I would get all the churches out of it and get the states back in control.  Not that I have a lot of faith in government, I just think there is a little more accountability with a government agency overseen by elected officials (and presumably watching the purse strings).  You can’t get at the inner workings of a “church” through normal sunshine legal provisions in the same way government is required to be transparent.

The photo is from this story about the impact of Burmese refugees on Columbus Junction (400 refugees to a town of 2000), but since its a pork plant at least they aren’t members of the Religion of Peace.

Oh boy, here we go again “meatpacker” sob stories; demands for “rights”

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a story about meatpackers and their immigrant labor.  Heck, a few years ago we set up whole categories on the controversy.  We had stories from Emporia, KS, Greeley, CO, Shelbyville, TN, Ft. Morgan, CO and Grand Island, NE.*   Most of those involved Somali refugees demanding their rights to worship their religion on the job (and some stories about other immigrant groups angry at the company for bending to Somali demands).

The long and short of these stories is that the “international” meatpacking companies (some are not even owned by Americans) figured out that they could use cheap immigrant labor and keep wages low.  I’ve been told by Americans who worked in meatpacking decades ago that wages were very good at Midwest meatpacking companies, BEFORE the illegal aliens were hired.  (This article I’m about to report tells us that too.)

Then the giant corporations realized that they couldn’t function with immigration raids of their plants where the feds were looking for the illegals, so BINGO! they hit on the refugee population—not only were they in abundant supply, they worked cheap and were captive (most refugees can’t get back home even when they want to).

Bill Clinton’s Bosnians!

Bill Clinton was among the first (that we know of!) to bring large numbers of refugees for his corporate buddies in Iowa.  I told you about that here in 2008.  And, I continue to maintain that the US State Department is working as the head-hunter for large corporate interests and supplying them with cheap subsidized labor.   I say “subsidized” because some of these companies are getting tax breaks for hiring poor people—and the refugee employees are getting welfare on the side.  It is a very sweet deal for these companies!    And, it’s doubly good for the Hard Leftwing Socialists because they get the third world population pouring into the US.

But, it’s not just the Lefties who want cheap labor for their Corporate friends, see Mark Krikorian at NRO on Republicans looking for cheap immigrant labor as well.   The difference is that the Republicans only want the cheap labor while the Leftists get a twofer—cheap labor and they get to change the US population (and they can demand “rights” for the downtrodden as this article tells us).

I almost forgot—and the Islamists get the Hijra.

Now to the latest story on the poor and suffering meatpacker immigrant labor force  from the Daily Planet (the reporter is Somali).

First the requisite sob story (LOL! is this basic Leftwing media reporter training—sob story right up front!).

Mohamud Kahin left his war-ravaged country five years ago, promised his siblings in Somalia they would never have to go to bed unfed and rolled up his sleeves for a new life in the United States.

Kahin arrived in Minneapolis in 2007. He has never been to school, and English remains a forever-foreign language to him.

It’s almost impossible to find a job around the Twin Cities, his relatives in Minneapolis told him when he first arrived. They gave him the most common advice given to a new adult immigrant with no English: go to the meat processing companies.

And Kahin did.

In 2008, he moved to Postville, Iowa, joining hundreds of Somali immigrants with similar stories. The 26-year-old Kahin got his share of large knives and cleavers on the fast-moving animal slaughtering and processing lines of Agri Star Meat & Poultry LLC — formally Agriprocessors. It’s the largest producer of kosher meat in the country and the biggest employer in Postville.

Kahin worked more than 40 hours a week as a meat packer in both frigid and oven-like conditions.

“My feet got really swollen,” Kahin said of the first few weeks of the job, speaking in Somali. “There were blisters on the bottom on my heel. The pain was constant.”

He had to stick with the job so he could send $500 a month to his family in Kismayo — it was a way to keep the promise he had made to his siblings: they would never go to bed hungry.

And, we sure don’t want those Al-Shabaab Jihadists going to bed hungry either.  Remember, the US government stopped this money transfer awhile back because some was surely going to the Jihadists.

In the early 1980s [at the same time the Refugee Resettlement Act passed Congress and was signed by Jimmy Carter—ed] meatpackers left US cities and moved to the countryside—surely because property taxes in the cities drove them out and they discovered cheap immigrant labor.

According to the report, 20 to 50 percent of workers at meat processing industries are immigrants and refugees from Africa, Central America, and Mexico.

More than 30 years ago, meatpacking and processing industries were located in the heart of Midwestern cities, including St. Paul, Chicago and Kansas City. New immigrant workers [there weren’t many then, it was mostly American labor—ed] and many Americans in the industries enjoyed “comparable salaries to middle-class workers in the auto and steel industries,” according to the report.

In the early 1980s, however, these jobs were relocated to rural parts of the Midwest and South because “of a much broader reorganization of the industry,” the report said. And a sharp decline in wages has followed. [So tell me why a move to the country would necessarily reduce wages?—ed]

Today, new immigrant communities, documented or undocumented, are finding themselves in rural areas in search of meatpacking job opportunities.

Poor discriminated-against Muslim workers!  Can’t speak English, can’t take prayer breaks—boo-hoo!

Many meatpacking immigrant workers are undocumented or don’t speak enough English. Most don’t know their rights as employees or are afraid to complain. Consequently, they fall victims to supervisors.

“Abuse was often based on race, ethnicity, and immigration status,” the report said. “Undocumented immigrants were insulted and singled out for the worst jobs because they were unlikely to complain.”

Two years ago, JBS Swift was alleged to be a hostile work place for the Somali and Muslim workers because of their race, immigration status and religion, according to a 2010 news release from The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

If you have the energy, check out our 83 previous POSTS (Greeley/Swift/Somali controversy category) on what really happened with those Somali demands and turmoil created in those midwestern meatpacking plants a couple of years ago.   By the way, JBS Swift is a Brazilian Company and we get to help support their immigrant labor force through our social services!  Cool huh!

*Type each of those city names into our search function for more fun with refugee meatpacker stories.