I was very interested to see the list of top cities in the US that ‘welcome’ refugees when I publishedThe Tent Foundation/Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Refugee Hiring Guidethe other day.
Where is Twin Falls?
Today I had a chance to look at the list more carefully and I’ll be darned, I don’t see Twin Falls, Idaho. (If you all check for me and see if somehow I overlooked it, see page 17, 18, and 19 at the guide, here.)
You would think that since The Tent Foundationis Chobani Yogurt CEO Hamdi Ulukaya’s foundation that Twin Falls would be on the list.
Is it possible, I wondered, that Twin Falls welcomed less than 100 refugees in the ten years being analyzed by the Lutheran contractor for the hiring guide?
Important note to readers: I hear from some of you referring to refugees as illegals. They are not. The immigrants we discuss mostly on these pages come to the US through the Refugee Admissions Program signed in to law in 1980. The numbers I’ll be giving you below are primary refugees placed directly in Twin Falls. The data comes from the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center. The numbers below do not include: asylum seekers, asylees, Special Immigrant Visa holders, Diversity Lottery winners, etc. They also do not include secondary refugee migrants. Those are legal refugees placed in another location who have moved, (possibly in this case to Twin Falls) for work or to be with others of their ethnic group. Again, secondary migrants are not included below.
These are all the primary refugees placed in Twin Falls by the US State Department and its local resettlement contractor during the ten year period, 2007-2016 presented in Tent’s Hiring Guide. Data is fromWrapsnet(Refugee Processing Center).
A total of 2,723 were placed in Twin Falls, population 48,260, from 2007 to 2016. (Boise by comparison received 6,918 in the same time period placing it at #29 on the Tent list of top resettlement locations.)
The Twin Falls number of 2,723 should have placed it on Tent’s list (where to find refugees) between Richmond, VA and Lincoln, NE
When I analyzed the data at Wrapsnet, I learned that Twin Falls ‘welcomed’ refugees from 17 different nationalities during that time period with the largest numbers coming from the following countries:
DR Congo (217)
Smaller numbers came from 9 other countries surely making it challenging for the school system, the health system and the criminal justice system there to deal with the language barriers and requirements for translation services (just one more cost being passed on to local and state taxpayers!).
I’ll be red-faced, but please let me know if you find Twin Falls on the Tent list of top cities in which employers can find refugee workers.
Editor’s note: As I reportedhere last week, I received a letter at my home from a Washington, DC lawfirm representing Chobani, LLC and its principal shareholder Hamdi Ulukaya. The letter also references Mr. Ulukaya’s foundation (The Tent Foundation).
They claim that several points I made in a post below are false based on information published by the New York Times, Bloomberg and CNN.
After considering how best to address their many concerns with my post, I determined that it would be most efficient and transparent to simply present their point of view.
So here it is:
~They say that Chobani and Mr. Ulukaya support diversity of opinion.
~They say that Chobani and the Tent Foundation have not advocated bringing more refugees to the US. (They do not say whether Mr. Ulukaya has called for an increase in refugee admissions to the US, only that the Chobani company and Tent have not.)
~They say that Chobani, the Tent Foundation and Mr. Ulukaya have been clear about their objective to provide opportunities for refugees. (Ed—That transparency includes having the Tent Foundation publish a refugee hiring guide jointly with a US refugee resettlement contractor, see here.)
~They say that private companies like Chobani are not involved in selecting refugees or the number of refugees to be admitted and that only the federal government plays that role. (Ed.—of course Chobani cannot make, or be involved in, federal decisions on refugee selection, numbers, and their placement. Any such involvement, if shown would be the proper subject of an Inspector General investigation. But, as evidenced by the refugee hiring guide, the Tent Foundation has become an important vehicle for Mr. Ulukaya to show support for the the federally-funded resettlement contractor community.)
~ They say that the Foundation, Chobani LLC or Mr. Ulukaya have not lobbied to influence the refugee resettlement work of the federal government. (Ed.—Even without lobbying, as shown by the hiring guide prepared by the largely federally-funded Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service for the Tent Foundation, the Foundation has shown support for the federal resettlement contractor community.)
~ They say they do not approve of my discussion about a business model built on a steady supply of cheap legal immigrant labor that must rely on welfare to supplement inadequate wages.
~And they clearly disagree with my opinion that it isn’t humane to remove people from their cultural comfort zones to supply the labor needs of large global corporations. (Ed—they say they support diversity of opinion.)
~ They report in the letter that they told World Net Daily to remove a false statement about Chobani pledging to hire more refugees. (Ed.—I assume that means they want it to be clear that Chobani has not pledged to hire more refugees, but isn’t that what the Tent Foundation is all about?)
~Taking offense at my inference that refugees are at the lower end of the pay scale, they cite several media outlets reporting that Chobani employees are paid well above state and federal minimum wages, receive group health benefits and participate in a retirement plan.
A 2016 report from CNN (cited in the letter as documentation of salaries) mentions that Chobani is proud of its starting hourly wage that is in the $11-$12 per hour range (below the presently accepted living wage of $15 an hour), but that Mr. Ulukaya says he is planning to move gradually to the $15 an hour wage. That sounds good, but the CNN article is more than two years old so it would be useful to know if clear progress toward that higher wage has been made in keeping with Mr. Ulukaya’s “Humanity First” solution to immigration.
We will be seeking more information from primary sources to make our own assessment of the issue of wages. As for welfare utilization, perhaps Chobani LLC in both New York and Idaho, seeking to set the record straight, would undertake a survey of their refugee employees use of social services including food stamps, housing subsidies and medical care, etc. and make public that information.
Below is the original post that prompted the October 2, 2018 letter to me from the law firm representing Chobani LLC. The post should now be read with the additional context provided above.
The original post follows:
What does this have to do with refugees?
Everything(!) because Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya is the primary pusher, through his Tent Foundation***, for global corporations to promote bringing more refugees to the US (and to move others around the world) to provide them with a steady supply of cheap LEGAL immigrant labor.
We have written a lot about Chobani Yogurt and its hiring practices in New York and in Twin Falls, Idaho. See my Chobani files here.
Chobani was back in the news this week because he received a Global Citizen Awardalong with the ‘maverick’s’ widow. I suspect if someone researched the Atlantic Council you would find George Soros lurking somewhere in its background!
Chobani CEO Pleads with Corporations to Hire Refugees: U.S. Needs ‘Humanity First’ Immigration Policy
LOL! Humanity first! really!
Is it humane to bring more low-skilled workers to the US, yanking them from their cultural comfort zones around the world so they can work menial jobs in the food industry (think Meatpackers! and of course Yogurt manufacturers) via refugee contractors (aka head hunters) who then help the refugees sign up for all of their welfare services (because wages aren’t high enough, they need to be subsidized by you!).
You have to hand it to them! They have figured out a great business model.
I swear that these big global companies must send everyone to some sort of Public Relations 101 class where they are taught to fit the word “humanity,” “humanitarian,” or “humanitarianism” in to every public utterance they make.
Note that the word ‘humanity’ is never applied to impoverished, job-seeking, Americans!
Read my lips: It is about cheap compliant labor!
(With the Democrat’s side-benefit being that they get more socialist-leaning voters from the refugee arrivals.)
Then, you can have even more fun if you follow the link to the CNN report about Ulukaya’s big award—awarded to him by no less than another of our old favorites from the Obama Administration—Samantha Power (see my many postson what one writer called Hillary, Susan Rice and Power—Obama’s “humanitarian Vulcans!”).
US yogurt billionaire’s solution to immigration: ‘Humanity first’
(CNN) Hamdi Ulukaya, who built yogurt empire Chobani after immigrating to the US in the mid-90s, is challenging Americans to rethink the way they view immigration.
“I have nothing against America first, but ‘humanity first too,'” said Ulukaya in an exclusive interview with CNN on the sidelines of an event for his nonprofit, called Tent Partnership for Refugees.
Staying out of politics but taking a whack at Trump (ROFLMAO):
Ulukaya has sought to keep his mission of assisting refugees above the political fray.But on occasion he has denounced the administration’s immigration policies and the way it enforces them. The issue is deeply personal for Ulukaya — a self-made billionaire who grew up tending goat and sheep in rural Turkey.
Ulukaya started recruiting immigrants and refugees to work at Chobani in 2010 — a strategy that drew vicious attacks from far right-wing conspiracy theorists who have spread lies about the company, including allegations Chobani embarked on a secret plot to increase America’s Islamic population.
About 30 percent of Chobani’s employees are immigrants or refugees. He says his employees and suppliers are worried.
Ulukaya, who launched Tent in 2016, has successfully urged companies to develop solutions by “mobilizing resources, innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit of the business community.”
“They [companies] all know that if you don’t find the way to solve this problem, or make it easier, this human tragedy is going to turn into one of the biggest problems for our children going forward,” he said.
This week, Tent added 20 brands to a growing list of partners pledging to hire refugees or help them build a better life. The latest companies to commit to the cause include Hilton, pasta maker Barilla, Microsoft and Uniqlo. In total, Tent has secured promises from more than 100 companies.
“Even if governments were stepping up to do the right thing, which many, including the US government, are not, the crisis is too big for government,” said Samantha Power, the former US ambassador to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017, as she presented Ulukaya the Atlantic Council’s Global Citizen Award this week.
In 2005, Ulukaya bought a defunct food factory in upstate New York with a small business loan to start making cheese. He eventually grew that into Chobani, which has become the top-selling Greek yogurt brand in the US. Several years after opening his factory, he started hiring refugees who lived in nearby areas.
He tapped the refugee community again in Idaho when Chobani opened a plant in Twin Falls, which is close to the dairy farmers who supply the raw material for his yogurt. Because of his efforts to hire and help refugees, Ulukaya has become the target of far-right websites and bloggers. One site accused Chobani of “call[ing] on [the] biggest American companies to join [an] Islamic surge.”
Laughing again! So will Chobani threaten to sue CNN for bringing all this up again???
Do not miss my postabout how the Tent Foundation hired the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (one of nine federal resettlement contractors) to write a refugee hiring guide.
***Go hereand have a look at the global corporations supporting the movement of refugee laborers around the world. Notice Twitter is one of Tent’s corporations. And, I am sure you will find others that you might not have suspected.
P.S. Why has no one written a book on Samantha Power, a dangerous woman who will be back if the Dems regain the Oval Office?
This story would not be worth posting except for the fact that it once again informs us that the refugees are here to supply cheap labor for industries that want to keep wages low. (Cheap for industry, but not for taxpayers who subsidize the refugee families with welfare!)
And, it is worth posting because the refugee agency head in Twin Falls is mistaken when he thinks the citizens of Idaho have been sufficiently ‘educated’ and now will be more welcoming of refugees.
Lack of refugees has Idaho businesses scrambling for workers
(Be sure to click on the link and see the story which features a photo of a Muslim woman giving free Arabic lessons to Americans. Gee, so why is that needed?)
TWIN FALLS — Idaho has welcomed far fewer refugees this year, which means resettlement agencies have more time to work with families, but South Idaho businesses are scrambling to find workers.
The College of Southern Idaho’s Refugee Center*** is on track to resettle 71 people this year, a fraction of the 300 people it typically serves each fiscal year. It’s received 64 refugees so far this year, with another family of seven expected soon. The fiscal year ends at the end of September.
“I think the decline in arrivals takes a toll, especially with our super low unemployment right now,” said Tara Wolfson, director of the Idaho Office for Refugees. “And I think there’s a loss to our ingenuity, to our workforce, to our bringing new ideas and creations to our state, that refugees tend to bring.” [This is such BS—refugees bring new ideas and creations to the state.—ed]
“It’s really a tough thing because we need workforce,” Roeser said. “We have so many Baby Boomers retiring. We have so many services that need warm bodies to work because of the aging workforce.”
I have said innumerable times that since the US Refugee Admissions Program is primarily to supply cheap labor for big global businesses (like Chobani), let’s have that debate, but shut up about it being a ‘humanitarian’ program.
Refugee resettlement across the state has declined dramatically since 2016 when 916 people resettled in Idaho. That number dropped to 611 the following year, and the Idaho Office for Refugees has resettled 341 people so far in the 2018 fiscal year.
Wolfson said she expects that the low resettlement rate will continue into next year.
But Rwasama [Director of the Refugee Center at CSI] is hopeful that federal policies and practices “could change at any time.” He said these days he less frequently hears certain anti-refugee sentiments that he used to hear often, such as concerns about safety or complaints about refugees “taking jobs” from other workers.
“I think people have actually received correct information and that’s why I don’t hear it anymore,” Rwasama said.
“And I hope those answers are getting to the president as well, and soon he will allow more refugees to come.”
Things are only quiet because Donald Trump has taken the pressure off for now.
So, dear readers, the flood gates will open again if there is a new President elected in 2020 (there isn’t another Republican who would do what Trump is doing). I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to reform the whole program while we have him in office. So get out and get involved in election year politics where you live!
The warden was supposed to die! (Kurbanov told the court)
Fazliddin Kurbanov was already serving a sentence of 25 years on terrorism charges when he tried to kill the warden at California’s Victorville prison. The warden was seriously wounded and scarred for life from the improvised knife attack.
Add “trickle” to our descriptive media word-list about this years’ refugee flow to America.
Previously we jokedabout “plummeting” numbers (dip, tumble, drop dramatically, drastically decline, etc.). Now we can add “trickle.”
Mr. Chobani Yogurt must be a bit annoyed as the refugee worker stream to his Twin Falls yogurt plant must be trickling too.
And, heck, he even lost pal, doyenne of the refugee contractors, Lavinia Limon last fall. See here.
This article is just another of the ho-hum planted media stories about that mean ol’ Donald Trump and how his refugee slowdown is hurting their refugee industry.
It wouldn’t be worth posting except for the blatant admission that plummeting refugee arrivals are hurting the contractors’ budgets.
For longtime readers you are likely thinking—well we know that!
However, ten years ago, when I started writing this blog about the flawed US Refugee Admissions Program, the media didn’t know that refugee contracting agencies*** were paid by the head to place refugees, so I see this paragraph below as progress!
There are challenges that come with taking in fewer refugees. It’s hard to manage the Refugee Center’s budget, Rwasama said, because the center receives federal funding per refugee who arrives. “Everything is impacted when you don’t have funding to provide services.”
I was glad to see that they say they are taking better care of the formerly placed refugees since they are receiving so few new ones.
Rwasama is CSI Refugee Center director Zeze Rwasama. It has never been adequately explained just how the College of Southern Idaho became a subcontractor for USCRI, one of the nine (soon to be eight?) federal contractors.
Nevertheless, we are happy to see that the admission is being made regularly and the media is now reporting that:
Federal resettlement contractors (and their subcontractors) receive payment from you, the US taxpayer, on a per refugee head basis!
*** I post the contractor list almost every day because I want new readers to know exactly who is responsible for driving the US Refugee Admissions Program (in addition to the UN!).
The number in parenthesis is the percentage of the nine VOLAGs’ income paid by you (the taxpayer) to place the refugees, line them up with (low paying) jobs in food production and cleaning hotel rooms, and get them signed up for their services! From most recent accounting, here.
This is one of those stories I’m sick of writing about. I’ve followed Fazliddin Kurbanov’s ‘career’ since his arrest in Idahoin 2013.
He is one of those Uzbeks that we have admitted to the US since the Bush Administration who were already radical Islamists back home, and why we took hundreds is still a mystery. Rumor is that the CIA and State Department teamed up to get them here.
By the way, some stories just list him as an “Uzbek national” but others, like ABC here have it right. He was a refugee, now he will cost US taxpayers a fortune as we care for him in prison!
An Uzbek national already serving a 25-year terrorism-related sentence has entered a guilty plea for trying to slit the throat of the warden of the Victorville federal prison in a 2016 attack.
Fazliddin Kurbanov, 34, faces sentencing on June 4 before United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips in Los Angeles after he entered a guilty plea Tuesday, March 13, to one count of attempted murder of a federal officer.
Kurbanov attacked then-Warden Calvin Johnson of the Victorville Federal Correctional Institute on May 31, 2016 in a dining facility, where Johnson was standing “near the serving line to be accessible to inmates during the lunch service” court papers said.
Kurbanov, armed with an approximately 4-inch prison-made shank, grabbed Johnson from behind and tried to cut the warden’s throat; when Johnson raised his hands to protect his throat, Kubanov instead slashed the warden on his left side, the document said.
Kurbanov admitted in an interview with authorities that he had made the shank, found a way to conceal it, and intended to kill Johnson with it, the court papers said. The attack took place five months after Kurbanov was sentenced in the terrorism case in Idaho.
Johnson was seriously injured in the attack, but has recovered and is now working at another prison in the federal system, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles said in a statement.
In January 2016, Kurbanov was sentenced to 25 years in prison for for conspiring and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and possessing an unregistered destructive device. He was convicted after a trial.
Prosecutors in that case said Kurbanov made contact with a website for the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and discussed with the website administrator “his animosity toward Americans, particularly the military; his desire to build a bomb; possible targets in the United States, including military bases in Idaho and Texas; and his need for instruction on how to construct and remotely detonate a bomb,” according to a statement by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Idaho.
He also discussed possible targets with an FBI confidential source, including the United States Military Academy at West Point, the prosecutor’s office said.
Go herefor my complete file on Fazliddin Kurbanov.
His Idaho trial came at a time when tensions began to rise in that state about the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program. The US attorney and others went to great lengths to minimize the news about the trial.