I’ll be reporting the news below, but I first want to make my key points up front so that you don’t fall for the pity-party news story.
~The International Rescue Committee is ostensibly a private non-profit group and therefore the US State Department can’t dictate that it must close offices (supposedly they will be closing 3 of 28).
They might not be getting new refugees at the office in GC that was set up only 4 years ago at the heyday of Obama’s presidency, but they surely could pay for some staff and a small office to help those they already dropped off in the town whose major employer is Tyson Foods!
~The IRC is a financial giant as non-profits go. From its 2016 Form 990 we know they had revenue that year of $736 million and that $494 million was provided to them by you—-the US taxpayers!
~Some of their top expenses were salaries ($244 million), grants and other assistance to foreign organizations, foreign governments, and foreign individuals ($296 million) and office expenses ($20 million).
Their headquarters are in Manhattan, New York (not Manhattan, KS). I mention this because I wonder: how much could a small office to aid struggling refugees cost in Garden City, KS? (You will see that the GC Telegram story is all about how refugees will be left in the lurch.)
~Salaries of top staff we have reported previously are here:
The point I am making is that the IRC could very well have kept its Garden City office open even if new refugees (new paying clients) were not being sent there by the State Department. They could have continued to help the refugees they brought in during the first 4 years with other money from their ginormous pot of money.
But, instead, this news will be used as one more bit of media fodder to blast President Donald Trump.
If you’ve been reading RRW for a bunch of years, you probably heard about the propaganda film featuring Shelbyville, TN that a left-wing-funded media outfit did back in 2007. The film was a whitewashed look at the turmoil created in the town when Tyson Foods ‘welcomed’ refugee (mostly Somali labor) to Shelbyville.
In the Shelbyville flick a local newspaper reporter who wrote a series of stories about the disruption the Somalis had brought to town was the villain in the film that was ultimately shown around the world about how great it was that the locals finally accepted their African brothers. (Here is one of many postsI wrote about the Shelbyville propaganda film.)
Now, check this out, a new propaganda film (actually two of them) are being filmed this summer in Garden City, Kansas. (That Shelbyville film is too old now, they need something new for the Trump-era.)
They have villains too! You will see them discussed in the opening paragraphs here at The Garden City Telegram (read about them yourselves).
Just like the Shelbyville film, the Garden City film(s) will be used to shame other towns in to accepting a flood of third world diversity.
What a coincidence…..
Here (below) are a few snips from this latest news. Guess what? It is Tyson Foods that brought the ready supply of cheap refugee labor to Garden City too! What are the odds that this film company will bring up the issue of low wage (cheap!) immigrant labor? Zip! Zero! Nada!
I was going to visit Garden City last summer on my 6000-mile trip to see some of America’s meatpacking towns that have been changed by BIG MEAT, but my local contact (not happy with what has happened to G-C) had a family emergency, so I went to Nebraska instead.
Maybe I should resuscitate my idea about a book that shows how major global corporations, like the meat and poultry industry, are changing America for one reason—Low wage workers means PROFITS for them!
And, then along come these Leftwing film makers to shut up any citizen opposition and help BIG MEAT get its laborers for decades to come! Makes me wonder if Tyson Foods is helping pay for the project! Hmmmm!
When Lawrence-based documentary filmmakers Tess Banion and Bob Hurst heard this news [about villains in western Kansas—ed], they decided their next project was going to take place in Garden City.
Their documentary will be a feature length film, so 90 to 100 minutes, and will try to illustrate how Garden City’s diverse culture works by diving deep into immigrants’ stories. [These leftwingers love their “stories,” we need to get better at telling ours!—ed]
“This is not going to be a journalistic piece,” Hurst said. “It’s more of a portrait. I think it’s more personal and more in depth about the lives of particular individuals who have come to Garden City and have been there for a long time, or new arrivals and what they have gone through personally and what their stories are.”
Hurst said their goal for their new film is for viewers to reflect on the lives of others, and find that every resident of Garden City is working toward the same goals. [Fascinating admission that they are trying to bend minds—ed]
To help understand the mindset of long-term Garden City residents, Hurst and Banion have enlisted the help of Nancy Harness, former mayor and longtime resident of Garden City.Harness said she is excited to be a part of the film and hopes that the documentary can serve to be an ambassador for the town.
“I think that the community is unique in how we dealt with the diversity of cultures, and it’s nice to have that be recognized by people from outside the community,” Harness said. “ I think part of my job here is to be an ambassador for Garden City and western Kansas. It’s an intriguing place and interesting community. To be part of the crew to introduce that community to a larger audience is cool.”
Harness said she hopes that residents who are hesitant of immigrants watch the film and reflect on why Garden City has welcomed immigrants in the past.
BIG MEAT changed Garden City!
“Part of what happened was that in 1980, we opened the world’s largest beef packing plant,” she said. “They needed 3,000 folks to just keep the plant running. Well, where are those workers going to come from? When the community decided that’s how they wanted to move forward economically, we basically said as a community we will open our doors to new people because that’s the only way this will work. I hope that this film gives the life-long locals who might be hesitant to this immigrant change a moment to stop and think about how the only reason Garden works is that everybody feels some ownership to it.”
Obviously that is not true—that everybody feels some ownership of the meat industry’s need for cheap labor and its role in changing the demographics of American heartland towns.
And, btw, in case you are wondering, the meat industry once paid wages that were very attractive to AMERICAN workers. It is only when they discovered first the illegal aliens willing to work for less, and then ultimately the refugee laborers whose low wages you subsidize with your welfare support, were they able to keep wages low.
One of my favorite stories about Garden City (and Harness role) was this one from 2010 where we learned that Somalis in Garden City wanted their own (separate) publicly funded cemetery. No association with infidels even in death!
Another controversy long-time readers might remember is the one about Emporia, Kansas and how the arrival of the Somali labor force there for, yes, another Tyson Foods plant, roiled the town so much so that Tyson closed the plant!
Here is one of about 20 posts I wrote on the controversy in Emporia. Unfortunately most of the links are now dead, so it’s a good thing I did snip articles throughout the period back in 2008. Some of those Emporia Somalis moved to Garden City.
It is really too bad that there aren’t documentary film makers with some cash to tell the other side of the ‘diversity is beautiful’ story to balance the Garden City films in the works.
Is it time for a modern day version of The Jungle?
If Trump doesn’t turn off the spigot, both of refugees and funding/regulations for low income housing (Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing!), then expect refugee contractors to find your town!
Changing the heartland one town at a time!
Here we have news from Kansas where a federal refugee contractor crows about all the new housing that could be available for refugees in Liberal, Dodge and Garden City, Kansas.
Governor Brownback recently withdrew the state from the Refugee Admissions Program, but that means nothing unless he is willing to sue the federal government on states’ rights grounds.
His withdrawal means that contractors, like the International Rescue Committee,will move in to run the program with Washington. As we said here, Brownback cannot be trusted on this issue!
From KSN.com(Refugees may double for southwest Kansas in 2017):
GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — Southwest Kansas welcomed 67 new refugees to the area in 2016, just shy of the 80 the International Rescue Commission [Committee—ed] was authorized to re-settle, but that number could soar this year.
“We do have the capacity to settle 140,” said Amy Longa, who manages the southwest Kansas site of the Commission. “I do not know how many we’ll end up settling by the end of the fiscal year.”
It depends on many factors at play in the international resettlement efforts, but the number of new refugees settling in Dodge, Liberal, and Garden could potentially double this year over last year.
The housing shortage in the region is an obstacle, but it is being addressed.
“We’re now seeing a little more opportunity with the recent building,” said Carol Davidson with Garden City Community Development, “and we also have plans in the future, this next year 2017, we do have a development that’s going in.”
“19 duplexes, 12 fourplexes, and five 36-unit apartment complexes,” said Cory Hodapp, who owns the company building a new housing complex in Garden City. “We’ll have half of the duplexes and half of the fourplexes complete this year.”
Good news for the IRC and Tyson Foods!
It’s good news for the IRC, which competes with the market to help find homes for refugees.
“What we have been working on the past two years is reaching out to landlords and creating partnerships with landlords to create housing,” said Longa. “Not only in Garden City, but in Dodge and Liberal as well.”
As we have reported on many previous occasions, the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program works closely with large companies like Tyson Foods and others to supply them with cheap immigrant labor. Those laborers are further subsidized by your tax dollars including those used to expand low-income housing.
So, don’t fall for the humanitarian mumbo-jumbo! Refugee resettlement is an industry! Chambers of Commerce want it, housing developers want it, big industries want it for cheap labor, local mosque leaders want it, politicians want it (money!), and the resettlement contractors get jobs and nice salaries all while pretending to wear a white hat of humanitarianism!
We have many previous posts going back several years on Garden City,click here. And, see Garden City’s wikipedia pagewhere someone had to be sure that the recent arrest of three Kansans who allegedly planned to blow up one of the Somali apartment complexes has been added to the page.
There is another article about Kansas and refugees, here, in recent days. You might want to have a look at.
Here is the AP storyfrom Saturday published at the Eagle Tribune.
The timing of the arrest is suspicious (is the FBI helping Hillary again, will she bring it up in the debate on Wednesday as an example of right wing extremism?), but otherwise we will wait and see what comes of this.
For background, you might want to see our archive on Garden City, KS (click here) where Tyson Foods has long been a draw for cheap refugee laborers. For more information on refugee resettlement in Kansas generally, go here.
One of my all-time favorite posts on Garden City is one from 2010 where Somali Muslims wanted a taxpayer supported cemetery to set aside a section just for Muslims so they wouldn’t have to be with infidels even after death.
For serious students of the history of Somalis and Tyson Foods in Kansas see our entire category on Emporia, KS by clicking here. It is a classic case of how a flood of refugees pushed a town over the edge. (Tyson ultimately closed the plant and moved refugees elsewhere.)
This is a bit of the AP story from over the weekend.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Three members of a Kansas militia group were charged Friday with plotting to bomb an apartment complex that’s home to Somali immigrants in the western Kansas meatpacking town of Garden City, a thwarted attack prosecutors say was planned for the day after the November election.
The arrests were the culmination of an eight-month FBI investigation [suspicious timing?—ed] that took agents “deep into a hidden culture of hatred and violence,” Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said.
A complaint unsealed Friday charges Curtis Wayne Allen, 49; Patrick Eugene Stein, 47; and Gavin Wayne Wright, 49, with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction. Their first court appearance is Monday.
Prosecutors said the men don’t yet have attorneys. Publicly listed phone numbers for the men couldn’t immediately be found.
The men are members of a small militia group that calls itself “the Crusaders,” and whose members espouse sovereign citizen, anti-government, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant extremist beliefs, according to the complaint.
We’ve written on many previous occasions about Tyson Foods meatpacking town of Garden City, KS (here is our archive).
One of my all time favorites is this post about Somalis in Garden City asking for a separate cemetery for their people (so even in death they needn’t assimilate). And, this postfrom January 2011 was pretty good too—Somali clans squabble in Garden City.
This recent story caught my eye, but at first I figured it was going to be one of those stories about how everything is copacetic after the initial stresses and strains in a town whose population has doubled mostly due to a meatpacking company’s need for cheap immigrant laborers (whose lives, by the way, are subsidized by the taxpayer as you will read below).
From KBIA.org (skipping many paragraphs into the blah, blah, blah). The emphasis is mine:
Despite all the services the local social network provides, there are problems endemic to any place with lots of workers who make low wages. The starting pay at the Tyson plant in nearby Holcomb, Kan., is $13.50 an hour – better than a job at say, Walmart, for $7 an hour. But if a parent with three children takes home roughly $25,000 annually, that’s still below the federal poverty line for a family of five.
The Tyson plant employs 3,400 people, with the top wage $20 an hour for maintenance workers, said Gary Mickelson, a Tyson spokesman. Help wanted ads in the local paper promise medical, dental and vision insurance, paid vacation and holidays and a 401(k) plan.
A majority of “team members,” as Tyson calls them, are Hispanic, followed by Asian and blacks, Mickelson said.
In a press release from August, proclaiming “chicken surges to record earnings and beef rebounds,” Tyson reported record sales of $8.7 billion for the third quarter of this year.
When asked if Tyson provides assistance to the community, Mickelson responded via email that the company and its employees pledged $220,000 to the Finney County United Way last year.
Feeding the hungry here often falls to the Garden City Unified School District 457, where three-quarters of the students get free or reduced-price lunch. The district provides two meals a day and sends supplies home in backpacks for use on the weekend, with help provided by the Kansas Food Bank, said Janie Perkins, the district’s coordinator of supplemental services.
Assistance is also needed away from school, as requests for food stamps in Finney County are up 230 percent in the last five years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The school district, designated as “minority majority” status because 76.8 percent of the students are minorities, have kids who are Hispanic, Burmese, Somali, Ethiopian or are from another ten countries.Documents are printed in several languages and signs at the district offices are printed in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Newcomer classes operate in the elementary, middle and high schools, which separate the children from the rest of their school temporarily so they can assimilate into their new lives. Since most of the Somali and Burmese children were born in refugee camps, they’ve never seen basic plumbing, let alone a pencil, Perkins said. Parents often come to school and express confusion at items in their new life, like a washer and dryer, she said.
In teacher Kay Thompson’s newcomer class at Florence Wilson Elementary School, 14 kids speak four languages – Spanish, Somali, Burmese and Vietnamese. Thompson said she starts each year with the basic school terms.
“Simple directions that they will need in a classroom: How to put away a book. What is the pencil? What is the notebook?” she said. “I’ll say, ‘go to the door.’ They don’t know what the door is.”
A housing challenge (indeed!)
The city, which first experienced a large refugee population when the Vietnamese moved here in the early 1980s to work in the plants, is now seeing a surge of Burmese refugees.
Velia Mendoza, coordinator of the Garden City Community Refugee Program, had about 150 Burmese clients when she started there in 2009. Now, she helps approximately 400 refugees with cash, food, medical, language skills and job assistance.
Still, one of the services in short supply is housing, thanks to the attraction of the city’s plentiful jobs. Thome said it is her top challenge, and she keeps a running tab on the many mobile home parks and run-down motels on the outskirts of the city, some near the dusty cattle feedlots that supply animals to Tyson.
The school district identified 341 homeless students last year – more than 4 percent of the student body and up from 43 in 2007.Those kids often land with a family member, where two families can be bunched up together in an apartment. Thome has delivered used mattresses that are pushed up against the walls for space during daytime hours.
Seeing so many people sleeping in riverbeds and roadside shelters, struggling for housing and food in a new country, galvanized the local ministerial alliance, she said.
The article makes it abundantly clear that Tyson Foods does little to help solve the problems its need for cheap LEGAL immigrant labor has created. Readers have reported to me that there was a time when meatpackers actually paid a decent wage that did attract American workers, but apparently this business model works better for them—cheaper wages for captive labor (refugees cannot easily go home) and the workers are subsidized by you for their other needs.
Remember back in June, Senator Jeff Sessions called out the meatpacking industry as one of the lobbying groups pushing S.744—the Gang of Eight bill that passed the Senate—which of course will bring them an ever increasing supply of labor.
Read about the creation of the city’s new logo, here. After reading the above you almost have to wonder if it’s a joke (the logo that is!).
Stull [Don Stull professor of anthropology] said that in contrast to many other demographically similar communities that he has studied, Garden City is one of only a few that views diversity as something positive.
“Not everybody is happy about it, certainly, but Garden City, as a whole, has met those challenges head on and has seen the growing cultural and linguistic diversity as something to be valued and celebrated,” he said.
Got a hint now of the tone of the final report on this town in the heartland that has been transformed over three decades of immigrants arriving there to supply the cheap labor needs of Tyson Foods!
Before I launch into the rest of this very informative piece in the Garden City Telegram, check out our archives on Garden City. We have written many posts about the problems there with the burgeoning immigrant population thanks to readers from Garden City who are the unhappy ones Stull refers to above.
One of my all time favorite stories from Garden City is when members of the Somali community demanded their own publicly funded section of the Cemetery so they didn’t need to be near the infidels even in death. No assimilation even in death. For our lengthy archive on Garden City, go here.
Another city in Kansas, Emporia, couldn’t take it when Tysons brought in hundreds of Somali workers, much controversy ensued and ultimately Tysons closed the Emporia plant and moved those workers to towns, like Garden City, that “celebrate” diversity. See our whole categoryon what happened in Emporia (there are other posts in that category about how meatpackers are changing towns). Other struggling meatpacking towns with immigrant controversies may be found in our category, Greeley/Swift Somali controversy.*
Because of its diversity, Garden City will be the focus of a research study conducted by the University of Kansas, beginning in January.
KU researchers recently were awarded a grant that will allow them to study the impact 30 years of continuous population changes in Garden City have had on local schools, and what that could teach educators in other communities nationwide.
“Garden City was at the forefront of that changing demographic and has been an exemplar, not only of what has happened, but what will continue to happen,” Don Stull, KU professor of anthropology, said. “Schools are one of the places in any community where everyone comes together. That’s not necessarily true of work, recreation, religion or similar institutions. We’ll be able to look at that intersection of school and community and learn a great deal.”
Stull has done research about Garden City for the past 25 years, contributing to his expertise about the impact meat and poultry industries have on communities.
Apparently Stull plans to report that Garden City is an “exemplar” that other cities should follow. His report will then be used to guilt-trip other overloaded meatpacking towns to not complain about the immigrant labor flowing in and out of their towns.
American blacks have high unemployment rates.
By the way, just this morning Roy Beck of NumbersUSA sent out an e-mail stating that the media is starting to pay attention to the high unemployment numbers for black Americans. Here is one paragraph from his e-mail:
As has happened in every great wave of immigration, the nation’s employers have eliminated channels of recruitment into poor Black communities. Employers don’t need Black American workers for construction, manufacturing, service and transportation because the government provides masses of new immigrant workers every year who, as the Post noted, have built-in job networks and a rootlessness that give them advantages for the scarce jobs of this economy. [Additionally, the immigrant workers, esp. the refugees, are taking advantage of the social safety net so that meatpacking wages can be kept low.—ed]
I digressed! Back to Garden City….
Since Iowa Beef Processors (IBP) opened in December 1980 in Holcomb (now Tyson Fresh Meats), immigrants from Latin America, southeast Asia and, more recently, Somalia, Ethiopia and Myanmar have relocated to Garden City.
The $40,000 grant awarded by the Spencer Foundation will allow professors Stull and Jennifer Ng, KU associate professor of educational leadership and policy studies, to conduct interviews with teachers, administrators, parents and students, to see how they have approached the cultural shift in terms of meeting the educational needs of Garden City’s migrant and refugee students, who collectively speak 21 languages other than English.
“The Spencer Foundation research will afford me the opportunity, along with Jennifer, to spend quite a bit of time in Garden City, focusing specifically on the schools and how administrators, teachers and other staff — how they really are dealing with that growing diversity,” Stull said.
The professors’ research will enable them to compile and share data with other communities in the nation and Canada that are experiencing similar change.
Stull: Garden City is a “micropolitan” community! Bet you wish you had one of these!
“Micropolitan communities are rural, small towns, based largely on agricultural economies, but they experience the kind of social and cultural challenges that metropolitan areas face. So one of the attractive things about Garden City, to researchers like myself, is that there are a lot of really interesting things happening, but they’re happening on a scale small enough that you can kind of get your mind around it, you can see it,” he said.
Readers might want to visit this postfrom 2010 where another professor in Kansas (Kansas State) wrote not so favorably about the refugees being delivered into the hands of meatpackers by the government (and the NGOs!) to Kansas towns and leaving the problems of assimilation to the towns to cope with!
* I have a theory that when the Somalis caused such problems a few years ago in meatpacking plants with their lawsuits and religious demands, that the big boys in the meat industry said to the State Department—bring us refugee laborers that are more docile! Thus the Burmese Karen and Bhutanese/Nepalis began being resettled in huge numbers. Legal and trapped labor is just the ticket for the meat giants!
Trapped? Refugees can’t go home unless they can scrounge up money for a return flight. Some have managed to do that.