News of the surge of illegal aliens swamping Texas and being driven and flown to other states, has pushed most of our other “refugee” news to the side, but here is one bit of news from a week ago that must be mentioned.
This is a problem we have written about off and on for seven years—by federal executive order (Clinton) local governments/courts are required to have interpreters available for the myriad languages being spoken by immigrants in their communities, but most can’t afford it.
Cough? (Got TB?) COURTNEY COLLINS / Courier Staff Photographer
From WCF Courier (hat tip: ‘pungentpeppers’). By the way, note that here we go again with Catholic Charities and meatpackers needing cheap labor!
WATERLOO | Emergency dispatchers and response teams are struggling with a widening language divide as they attempt to service Waterloo’s growing population of non-English speakers.
The communication barrier creates problems for all parties involved, from the dispatcher deciphering a 911 call to the officer trying to put together an accurate police report to the concerned resident trying to communicate a problem with little to no knowledge of the English language.
Over recent years, Waterloo Police have dealt with a slew of languages including Bosnian, Spanish, Serbian, Croatian, Burmese, French and Vietnamese.
In 2006, Burmese refugees began settling in Waterloo for the employment opportunities at Tyson’s meat plant, and the community has been growing ever since.
Dispatchers at the Black Hawk Consolidated Communications Center receive about a half-dozen calls a day in foreign languages.
But resources for interpretation are slim, a Courier investigation shows.
And as refugees from Burma continue to move to the area at a steady pace, bringing with them five vastly different languages, it has quickly become a complex problem to solve.
Nearly 1,500 Burmese refugees have planted roots in the Waterloo area, according to local estimates. That population is expected to reach 2,000 in the next year. In summer months, about two to four households migrate to the area each week.
Stephen Schmitz, who resettles new refugees through Catholic Charities in Cedar Rapids, estimates that more than half of these incoming refugees are illiterate.
There is more, read it all. Be sure to check out the comments!
I don’t have time to do all the linking but know that BIG MEAT (and its head hunters at the State Department and contractors like Catholic Charities) is responsible for changing the demographics of many small cities in the Mid West and South. It is a win-win for them—cheap captive “illiterate” labor (refugees cannot go home) that you subsidize them (housing, food stamps, education). They get to wear the do-gooder white hat and you pay the price!
How about if the meatpackers, like Tysons, pay for the extra costs to the community—like interpreters!
About the photo: We are not suggesting that the woman in the photo was asking refugees if they have TB, but readers should know that Burmese especially have higher rates of TB than some other refugee groups. See our health issues category for more on TB in the refugee population, but here is one post generally making the point.