How TYSON FOODS Is DESTROYING Small Towns…Forcing Taxpayers To Pick Up Housing, Healthcare Costs For Muslim Refugees

This is a story you won’t likely find anywhere else, as both political parties seem to be okay with the import of low wage workers from foreign countries. Meanwhile, we have millions of American citizens who have given up any hope of finding a job, and many more who are being paid more by our government to stay home. 

LEXINGTON, Neb. — The old Longhorn Laundry is an unlikely place for a showdown over the First Amendment.

You could easily miss the nondescript concrete building on a quiet downtown corner of this old cow town.

But ever since a group of Somali workers from the local meatpacking plant spread out a sea of Persian rugs in the expansive former laundry and began holding Muslim prayer services five times a day, there has been controversy.

City officials maintain that mosque leaders are ignoring local zoning laws and thumbing their noses at requirements for building permits and fire-code inspections.

They insist that the flap is about a lack of parking, not a denial of religious freedom, and that it wasn’t spurred by “Islamophobia.”

The attraction is employment at Tyson Foods:

African Muslims, mostly from war-torn Somalia, started arriving in the mid-2000s. Census estimates put the number of Somalis in Lexington at 769 in 2014 — a 40 percent increase from 2000. Local Somalis and those who work with them say there actually may be 1,500 or more living in the community.

Somali workers attend new employee orientation at the Tyson beef meat packing plant outside of Garden City, Kansas. Mohamed Abdulkadir is a full-time interpretor at the Tyson plant, and has worked with the company for seven years.
Somali workers attend new employee orientation at the Tyson beef meat packing plant outside of Garden City, Kansas. Mohamed Abdulkadir is a full-time interpreter at the Tyson plant, and has worked with the company for seven years.-Adam Reynolds Photography

Across Nebraska, census estimates show 2,100 Somali-born residents clustered in Omaha and Lincoln, and near meatpacking plants in Grand Island and Madison, as well as Lexington.

Since Obama was elected, Nebraska has ‘welcomed’ 6,716 refugees and the numbers have been increasing each of those years.

Most of the refugees (seeded in Nebraska by federal ‘church’ contractors) are Burmese or Iraqis, but of course Somalis have been resettled as well. (There are small numbers of Muslim Burmese and the largest group of Iraqis we admit to the US are Muslims. Somalis are virtually all Muslim.)

workers

For centuries, immigrants in search of a better life have been drawn to America’s largest cities. Now, in part because of the meatpacking industry, recent immigrants have been seeking out small, rural towns. But many of these towns are struggling to provide the social services needed by such a diverse population that’s largely invisible to most Americans.

Noel, Mo is one of those small towns in America affected by the huge influx of mostly Somalian Muslim immigrants.

christmas city

Noel, Mo., has been dubbed the “Christmas City” and “Canoe Capital of the Ozarks” thanks to the Elk River, which winds through town. But this Missouri town of fewer than 2,000 residents thrives because of the Tyson Foods Inc. chicken processing complex located here it alone employs about 1,600 people. Just 20 years ago, Noel had only about half as many residents, and most of them were white. Then in the 1990s, Hispanics most of them Mexican moved to Noel to process chicken. Pacific Islanders and refugees from parts of Myanmar and Africa followed.

african grocery store

“We do have small towns that have had 100 to 200 percent growth that have really changed overnight over the past 20 years and have a much larger immigrant population than they used to,” says Lisa Dorner, a University of Missouri education professor who has done extensive research on immigrant children growing up in small towns and suburbs. Dorner thinks such major demographic changes don’t always sit well with local residents.

How on earth our federal CHURCH contractors can be aiding and abetting this travesty continues to be beyond my understanding.

From Progressives for Immigration Reform (emphasis RRW):

In her NPR news story, In A Small Missouri Town, Immigrants Turn To Schools For Help, writer Abbie Fentress Swanson chronicles the plight of newly arrived immigrants to the small, rural town of Noel, Missouri. It seems that longtime residents there are not dealing well with sudden demographic changes. Consequently, immigrants from Mexico, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, and the Pinglap region of Micronesia are among those feeling unwelcome and isolated in this formerly white community, which saw its population double to 2,000 in just two decades.

PHOTO BY KHI
PHOTO BY KHI

Many of these immigrants are so poor they cannot afford housing or healthcare. Their children often lack shoes and clothes. As Swanson notes, about 90% of the community’s children would go hungry most of the school day, if they didn’t qualify for free or low-cost meals. With such an influx of people, Noel has not been able to keep up with providing social services. There is a long wait list for units from the local housing authority, and building more housing would strain the town’s sewer system, already at 80% capacity.

Immigrants are attracted to Noel by jobs at the chicken processing plant of Tyson Foods, which employs 1,600 people. The starting wage is a paltry $9.05 per hour, which comes to $362 a week before taxes for an eight-hour, five-day week. Despite health and injury risks to workers in this industry, Swanson calls this a “decent” wage and declines to hold Tyson culpable for perpetuating widespread misery in the cash-strapped town.

The nation’s largest U.S. meat processor by sales can easily afford to pay its employees in Noel a living wage, but prefers to have the community subsidize the resulting human wreckage. After all, profit is the overriding goal, even if it must be achieved by driving wages so low that most American citizens no longer can afford to work at its processing plants. No matter – the continuous stream of cheap, compliant foreign labor will do just fine. The results are compelling….

The Mayor of Noel, MO, John Lafley says Tyson Foods is pushing the town to allow for more housing development, but he’s concerned that Noel’s infrastructure can’t handle more units.

The schools system (66% minority children!) has become the de facto social services department trying to stem poverty in the immigrant households.

The mayor says there’s no money in the budget either to provide the social services needed in this small, remote town, which sits not far from the Missouri-Kansas-Arkansas-Oklahoma borders. For rural Missouri, Tyson plant jobs pay decent wages that start at $9.05 an hour. Still, poverty looms large here. About 90 percent of Noel school students qualify for free or reduced-cost meals. The number of homeless children has doubled in the past five years. Because the nearest food pantry and free clinic are miles away, many plant workers turn to their children’s schools for help.

Tyson Foods wants the town to build more housing, but the town can’t afford the infrastructure costs.

Affordable housing is also a problem here in Noel. There’s a long waiting list for open units at the local housing authority.

“You cannot rent a house right now. If you look, try to find a house, you can’t,” says Faisal Ali Ahmed, a Somali refugee who works the night shift at the Tyson plant as a forklift driver. “It’s a very difficult life. If they shut down this company now, nobody stay in this bush.

John Lafley, the mayor of Noel, says longtime residents need to be sensitized to immigrants’ needs, and immigrants need to try to fit in.

“We’re trying to assimilate people that don’t understand the American way. And they want to keep their own ways, which is not that popular,” Lafley says.

Lafley says Tyson Foods is pushing the town to allow for more housing development, but he’s concerned that Noel’s infrastructure can’t handle more units.

The schools system (66% minority children!) has become the de facto social services department trying to stem poverty in the immigrant households.

The mayor says there’s no money in the budget either to provide the social services needed in this small, remote town, which sits not far from the Missouri-Kansas-Arkansas-Oklahoma borders. For rural Missouri, Tyson plant jobs pay decent wages that start at $9.05 an hour. Still, poverty looms large here. About 90 percent of Noel school students qualify for free or reduced-cost meals. The number of homeless children has doubled in the past five years. Because the nearest food pantry and free clinic are miles away, many plant workers turn to their children’s schools for help.

Read about the profits Tyson Foods is making. Then this:

Assimilation is not the real problem facing Noel, Missouri nor is it street-level bickering about matters of race, religion and values. The larger issue is what to do about rogue corporations that run roughshod over small communities in pursuit of profit, little of which is invested locally. Of greater concern is that our government wants to overload the job market even more through mass immigration policies, which will lay waste to many more small communities throughout America.

And, what do you do about federal contractors for the US State Department wearing the white hat of do-gooderism while helping Tyson Foods make the profit!

For entire story: Refugee Resettlement Watch


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