Editor: From time to time I post guest columns from readers whose work adds significant new information to our discussion about how the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program is having an impact on your wallets and your quality of life.
Here reader Bob Enos crunches numbers about Somali employment in Minnesota and finds some very interesting data leading to an unexpected conclusion.
THE PARALLEL SOCIETY
First, my thanks go out to Minnesota refugee resettlement expert Ron Brantsner for putting me on to the 2016 report on the animal slaughtering and processing industry in central Minnesota, presented by the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development. A review of the report, for me, shed much light on both the stated objectives of refugee resettlement in the United States, and the unstated subtext.
The American people are constantly told that refugee resettlement serves to fill the labor needs that go unmet, due to low birth rates, an aging population, and the unwillingness of Americans to perform certain kinds of menial labor.
How does this mantra square with the data reported by federal and state government?
Federal data tells us there are roughly 30-40k Somali refugees residing in central and west central Minnesota. The populations of these regions reside primarily in Stearns and Kandiyohi counties, of which St. Cloud and Willmar are the county seats, respectively.
The MN DEED report states that about 4,000 people are employed in animal slaughtering and processing in the region. It goes on to say that, from 1995 to 2016, the percentage of “black employees” (read: Somali refugees) rose from 1% to 10% of total employment in the sector. From this data, it can be inferred that at least 400 Somalis work in the industry in this region.
Statistics on fertility rates from the World Health Organization and the federal government suggest that the typical Somali nuclear family – as American society defines nuclear families – includes nearly eight children. Therefore, infer that at least 3,000 adult Somalis in the region are eligible for employment.
The most recent report on performance indicators of refugee resettlement from the US Office of Refugee Resettlement suggested that the unemployment rate among Somali refugees nationwide is about 50%. Applied to the western/west central Minnesota region, this suggests at least 1,500 of the region’s work-eligible Somalis are unemployed. This leaves at least 1,500 Somalis participating in the region’s labor force.
Now, this is where things get interesting.
If 1,500 Somalis are eligible for employment and, of these, 400 are employed in the “livestock” sector, then at least 1,100 Somalis engaged in employment of some other kind have yet to be accounted for.
Anecdotal information suggests that Walmart is a significant employer of Somali refugees in the region. This region contains SIX Walmart stores.
Does it seem reasonable that six Walmart stores have 1,100 Somali employees? Not likely.
Consider an alternate scenario.
The lion’s share of the 1,100 Somali workers who, so far, are unaccounted for are likely working in support capacities for other Somalis: translation services for schools, law enforcement, health care, health and human services, refugee resettlement agencies, and transporting fellow Somalis to locations where they partake of these services. A few are owners and operators of storefronts which cater exclusively to…Somali shoppers.
What we are witnessing and financing with public dollars is a closed, parallel society in America.
If an economic goal of importing Somali and other refugees to the US is filling jobs which are going unfilled by America’s current population of Americans, then the refugee resettlement program will go down in history as the most bloated, inefficient, wasteful, expensive job service the United States has ever produced.
But, this hypothesis begs a larger question. Has refugee resettlement REALLY been about filling low wage, unskilled jobs? The data, at least in Minnesota, does not support the premise.
No, what the economic objective seems to be is to redistribute the world’s poverty among wealthy, industrialized countries in the Western world. In this social experiment, however, the United States, for the first time, has willingly embraced a population that, at least, shows no collective interest in assimilating to, and embracing the American Way of life; and, at worst, is hostile to it. Furthermore, our leaders have evidently sanctioned the concept of an unassimilated, parallel society in America. How do we know that? Just take a look at President Barack Obama’s Committee for Welcoming New Americans, and its 2015 report to the president. In it, we find the committee quite intentionally omits the use of the word “assimilation” anywhere in the report, and replaces it with the word “integration.” What’s more, “integration”, in the New Normal, seems to share more in common with what Baby Boomers were taught is, actually, segregation.
And what might be the quid pro quo for America’s two political parties? If employment is presumably suffering for a lack of eligible workers, then the same can be said for a lack of eligible voters. And let’s face it, the Democratic Party has a long tradition of building its voting ranks with new immigrants.
The trade-off, then, is more refugees, in exchange for new Democratic voters. But what is new this time around, my fellow Americans, is that, in the New Normal, taxpaying Americans pay an exorbitant price in the bargain, in public finance, cultural identity, and quality of life. Or, as our friend Ann Corcoran often reminds us, “changing America by changing its people.”
And, as any salesperson knows, one has to be prepared to walk away from the sale when the price is too high.