Austin, MN: Meatpackers changing the demographics of American towns
Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 15, 2014
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).
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.):
- Church World Service (CWS)
- Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) (secular)
- Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM)
- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
- International Rescue Committee (IRC) (secular)
- US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) (secular)
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
- World Relief Corporation (WR)
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