“Welcoming” liberals care more about illegal aliens and refugees than Black Americans (part 2)

The Meatpacking industry – first illegal immigration then refugee resettlement displace American workers

Historically, most meatpacking plants were located in urban areas, and in the early 1900’s, blacks migrating north were hired as “cheap labor” and aggressively recruited to break strikes. As demand for meat increased, so did black employment; between 1915-1918, over 6,500 blacks worked in the Chicago meat plants. Between 1909-1928, blacks working in the Chicago meatpacking industry increased from 3 to 29%, gaining “a foothold in the industry.” The percentage of black workers in meatpacking increased again between 1940-1950.

Meatpacking workers outside southern states were represented mostly by two major and competing unions. One of them, the Packinghouse Workers of America successfully unified the black and white workers as bargaining units and by 1940 also had collective bargaining agreements with the four largest meatpackers in the country. By 1960, the meatpacking industry offered wages approximately 15 percent higher than the average manufacturing wage.

In the 1980s the industry underwent significant changes; meat production shifted from urban to rural areas, new technologies were introduced and demand for meat fell, causing many of the unionized urban plants to close. By 2002, wages in meatpacking had dropped to 24 percent less than the average manufacturing wage.

The Smithfield Plant Raid and black worker displacement

smithfield

Between 1990 and 2000, North Carolina had the largest growth of any state (a 394% increase) in the size of its Hispanic population growing from 76,726 to 378,963. By 2000, Hispanic workers became the majority demographic at the Smithfield pork processing plant in Tar Heel, N.C., the largest hog processing facility in the world.

In the early 1990’s, however, most workers at Smithfield were Black Americans. It was during this time as well, that the United Food and Commercial Workers Union lost two organizing elections. During a subsequent lawsuit over the election results, evidence emerged that the company gradually replaced its workforce with illegal immigrants because “…they were more likely to accept low wages and poor conditions and they were vulnerable to…the company’s ‘intense and widespread coercion’ [efforts to defeat union organizing.]”

In January 2007, ICE agents raided the Smithfield plant, resulting in dozens of illegal Hispanic workers being arrested and a few hundred leaving voluntarily to avoid arrest. Vacancies were filled by black workers.

Meatpacking and refugee resettlement

Reports about the meatpacking industry routinely note that it is one of the most dangerous manufacturing jobs in the U.S. But for workers who have little to no education, low job skills and little to no ability to speak English, it offers a decent wage.

Moving the meatpacking industry to rural areas reduced competition for workers and enabled companies to lower wages. In order to avoid the problem of using illegal immigrant workers, meatpacking plants could instead, use refugee workers who unlike American workers, are less likely to challenge wages and working conditions at this time.

The Tyson’s company not only actively recruits refugee workers but will bring them in from other states to work at their plants. They go to great lengths to assist with housing and other adjustment needs.

At a recent conference at the University of Iowa, Rick Rustad, a workplace chaplain at the Tyson plant in Waterloo, about 100 miles away, recalled serving as the plant’s “mobile recruit” for Burmese refugees. He drove a passenger bus to meet with Burmese who had settled in different parts of Illinois, where he offered jobs and brought 30 back to Iowa at a time.”

The Tyson’s plant in Shelbyville, Tennessee saw hiring refugees as the way to avoid hiring illegal immigrant labor. This plant also moved Somali refugee workers from Kansas to Tennessee rather than hire unemployed Tennesseans. The Nashville International Center for Empowerment, a federal refugee resettlement contractor created an employment pipeline between their agency and Tyson’s by having the Tyson’s Human Relations manager serve on its board.

somalis

In 2009, the Wall Street Journal reported that the recession was creating greater competition for jobs between native-born locals and refugees at the Shelbyville Tyson’s plant. “Well before the [Shelbyville employment] agency opened that morning, officials from churches and refugee resettlement agencies had transported several vanloads of Asian and African applicants from Nashville.”

Just like the Refugee Resettlement Act of 1980 has facilitated the flow of cheap legal, work-authorized labor for meatpacking plants, so did the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act which provided a blanket amnesty for approximately 2.7 million illegal immigrants.

A 2011 paper “US Construction and Meatpacking” presented at a UC Berkley sponsored conference “Migration and Competitiveness: Japan and the United States” confirmed the impact of both the refugee act and amnesty on the meatpacking industry. It was noted that poultry plant managers in the late 1980’s said Asians and Hispanics had a “‘better work ethic’” than local Blacks and Whites and network hiring among Asians or Hispanics displaced local workers.

The opening lines in a in the Wall Street Journal about the Swift & Co. meatpacking plant in Greeley, Colorado confirms the changes in the industry – “Here on the outskirts of town sits a sprawling meatpacking plant…where English is hardly the only language spoken inside. Indeed, the union handbook is printed in English, Spanish, Burmese and Somali.”

Other industries

A 2010 Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) compilation titled “Immigration and Job Displacement” notes that Hispanic migrant workers displaced black workers in the Georgia peach industry, and, in 1977, 2,500 unionized black janitors in Los Angeles earning $12/hour with benefits, were displaced by a group of nonunion contractors using Hispanic labor at $4/hour; eight years later only 600 black workers remained.

In his book The American Dream: Can It Survive the 21st Century, Joseph Daleidan notes other industries using unskilled or low-skill workers including garment workers, hotel maids, nursing assistants, and orderlies that have further displaced low and unskilled black American workers.

Daleidan also points out that immigrant-owned businesses are less likely to employ black Americans and that these businesses discriminate against blacks with impunity because state and federal civil rights agencies “turn a blind eye to discrimination by minorities.”

Based on these facts, can there be any question that the globalists, the political elitists, the big business interests, the open border and amnesty advocates like TIRRC and NCLR are acting in their own political and economic interests? Based on facts, can there be any question about who in the U.S. will bear the brunt of policies that bypass our laws that were intended to protect American workers first?

“Welcoming” liberals care more about illegal aliens and refugees than Black Americans (part 1)

The professional left and the establishment right push open borders, amnesty for illegal aliens and increased refugee resettlement. Each one of these programs and the policies they spin off, disproportionately and negatively impact Black American workers.

Immigration laws (addressing both legal and illegal immigration), are supposed to protect American workers. Instead, the benefits are inuring to big business, globalist politicians, and elitist of all stripes.

Low-skilled American workers are penalized

The prosperity and economic security of American workers, especially low-skilled minority workers, is damaged the most by illegal immigration and refugee resettlement. Economists, civil rights advocates and black leadership have repeatedly presented the data – black American workers, especially low-skilled workers, are disproportionately and negatively impacted by legal and illegal immigration.

In 2011 and 2015 Congressional hearings, Dr. Frank Morris, former Director of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation nailed the problem. He said that the government had a double standard regarding lawbreakers; tough enforcement of drug laws and jail time for crack cocaine, but lax enforcement of sanctions against employers using illegal alien workers, compounded by executive orders for deferred deportation policies:

The greatest evidence of illegal immigrant worker privilege is the fact that these workers [those granted deferred deportation] who have violated immigration and labor laws (and possibly document fraud laws) are able to keep jobs they were never eligible to get in the first place.”

According to Dr. Morris, organizations like the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) have bullied law-abiding Americans into silence. NCLR supports open borders and speaks against enforcing U.S. immigration laws. In Tennessee, Alinsky tactics of name-calling and bullying are the bread and butter of NCLR’s affiliate the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC).

TIRRC and La Raza, whose new president Renata Soto also leads Nashville’s Conexion Americas, try to camouflage their support for open borders, amnesty and opposition to illegal immigration enforcement by promoting “family reunification” and comprehensive immigration reform, aka, amnesty. December 2016, these groups and their coalition partners like Catholic Charities of Tennessee (CCTN) and the Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE), will host the National Immigrant Integration Conference in Nashville. They will talk about expanding the privileges of legal citizenship to law-breaking illegal aliens.

They are pushing non-citizen voting as a “new frontier for civic integration.” Of course they will need super-progressive mayors like Megan Barry to push through her promised municipal ID for illegal aliens so the law-breakers can pretend to pass for legal residents. TIRRC thinks this idea is “forward thinking” – even if it does discriminate against Black Americans in the job market.

Dr. Morris believes that in the end, failure to enforce our laws diminishes the privileges of legal citizenship (like voting), and are particularly unjust as applied to African Americans. He says that “open borders anarchy makes Americans second class citizens in their own country.”

Frank Morris and Barbara Jordan
     Frank Morris and Barbara Jordan

Democrat Barbara Jordan, respected educator, first African-American woman elected to the Texas Senate, first African-American woman Texas representative in Congress, and first African-American woman to deliver the keynote address at the 1976 Democratic National Convention, was a forceful opponent of illegal immigration.

In 1993, Bill Clinton appointed her to head the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform. Jordan’s position on illegal immigration was:

“…for immigration to continue to serve our national interest, it must be lawful. There are people who argue that some illegal aliens contribute to our community because they may work, pay taxes, send their children to our schools, and in all respects except one, obey the law. Let me be clear: that is not enough.”

..in order to make sense about the national interest in immigration it is necessary to make distinctions between whose who obey the law and those who violate it…[u]nlawful immigration is unacceptable.”

Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: those who should get in get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out, and those who should not be here will be required to leave.”

“…this obligation to immigrants by no means excuses us from our obligations to our own disadvantaged population.”

More recently, a National Academy of Sciences study exposed the “$500 billion Immigration Tax.” The report shows “how legal and illegal immigration transfers $500 billion a year from the wages paid to working-Americans towards companies, firms, Wall Street investors and to new immigrants.” It also shows that the “flood” of low-skill and low-wage immigrants cuts marketplace wages for American workers.

Data released in 2014 by Project 21, a national network of Black conservative leaders, showed that illegal alien migration trending toward urban and rural areas in southeastern states created direct competition with Black Americans for jobs. 

Black American workers were also shown to suffer added discrimination in employment because “employers perceive stronger work ethic among the immigrants and a greater willingness to tolerate low wages.”

The same employment effect for Black American workers results from increased legal immigration through refugee resettlement. Many groups of refugees who have extremely low levels of formal education, are predominantly non-English speakers and often are also illiterate in their native language.  This results in refugees competing with illegal immigrants and Black American workers for the same types of low-skilled jobs.

For example, in FY2016, refugee contractors were paid to bring 9,020 Somalis to U.S. cities and towns. Available data for approximately half of Somali arrivals shows that 3.68% have no formal schooling, only 34% completed primary school, only 8.4% completed secondary school, less than 1% have any technical training and only 1.26% ever attended college. 

But the resettled refugee worker has an advantage when it comes to finding a job in the U.S.  Each resettled refugee has a taxpayer-paid-for employment specialist whose job is to get the refugee a job.  In cities like Nashville, where a large number of refugees are resettled annually, refugee contractors have aggressively formed relationships with large employers whose jobs require little English or specific job skills.  Refugee contractors have established network-hiring with these employers, effectively limiting equal access to these jobs by native-born workers.