Somalis fill vacant jobs at Iowa meatpacking plant

Almost three months after a federal immigration raid on a Postville, Iowa meatpacking plant resulted in the uprooting of nearly 400 employees, dozens of Somali immigrants are slowly but steadily filling the vacant ranks left by arrested workers. The Somali immigrants, many of whom are Muslim, discussed with the Associated Press some elements of their faith and culture concerning their new job. The meatpacking plant is kosher, and is run by several Rabbi’s. However, many including Ahmed Ahmed, a Somali who works in the plant’s sausage department, did not find his employment to be a contradiction, citing work is work. Many of the workers have transplanted not only themselves, but their family, including women and children. The Somali immigrants – numbering at an estimated 100-150, are also beginning for form their own community within the small town with a population of just 2,200.