Big Meat Braces for a Refugee Shortage by Lauren Etter and Shruti Singh BloombergBusinessWeek February 8, 2017 is quite a surprise.
Over the years, Bloomberg News has been a reliable source of fanatical and vicious Treason Lobby propaganda on the immigration issue, unquestionably stemming from the predilections of its founder and majority owner Michael Bloomberg, well-known for his Bill Kristol-like disdain for his fellow Americans. Agribusiness has been a frequent beneficiary as I noted most recently in BLOOMBERG: Dairying Tycoons Sob Trump Threatens Their Illegal Alien Cheap Labor Profiteering last year.
This piece is rather different. It candidly admits what caused the industry to use refugees:
Refugees have been a fixture within the meat processing workforce since 2006, when immigration officials under President George W. Bush raided plants in several states...Companies “realized that their business model of hiring undocumented people was causing problems for them,” says Lavinia Limón, chief executive officer of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, a resettlement organization. “So they moved to the refugee population.”The story notes but does not analyze the impact such a shift had on the host towns:
In the aftermath [of the 2006 raids] area meatpackers began recruiting workers from Minneapolis, a city with a large population of Somali refugees. Almost overnight, Greeley was hosting more than 1,000 immigrants from East Africa who spoke little or no English and needed assistance finding housing and enrolling their children in school. Local officials reached out to the Colorado office of Lutheran Family Services...The group…within a year had set up a permanent office in town.But instead of editorializing against the Administration the piece merely notes
Trump’s decision to sharply curtail the number of refugees admitted into the U.S. may lead Big Meat to recalibrate its recruitment practices. While a federal court has temporarily suspended the administration’s four-month ban on new arrivals, not affected is Trump’s plan to slash refugee admissions from 110,000 to 50,000 in the current fiscal year.then – astonishingly! – quotes the heroic Ann Corcoran
…a Trump supporter who authors a blog called Refugee Resettlement Watch, says meatpackers would draw more native-born applicants if they raised their wages.Next, the quiet but amazing conclusion:
The bottom line: U.S. meatpackers that have become dependent on refugee labor may have to raise wages to recruit workers.I very strongly doubt if this conclusion or the reference to Refugee Resettlement Watch would have been allowed before the election.
The Donald makes a difference!