Burmese Refugees Flock to Iowa Meatpacking Town
By RYAN J. FOLEY
The first Chin Burmese student arrived at Wilma Sime Roundy Elementary School three years ago, a smiling preschooler whose father often checked on his progress.
The school had long been accustomed to educating the children of the Mexicans, Hondurans and El Salvadorans who came to work at the sprawling Tyson Foods pork processing plant that sits outside this town of 2,000. But then, principal Shane Rosenberg recalled, Tyson informed school leaders that a new group of workers was coming _ the Chin, a largely Christian ethnic minority who were fleeing their homeland in western Myanmar to avoid persecution.
A trickle of Chin students turned into dozens. Frustrated educators struggled to communicate, often having to call the pastor of the Chin church to interpret. Rosenberg intervened to ease the way, using grant money to hire one of the Chin to translate to and from the Hakha language. And he invited Chin parents for a welcoming ceremony and tour of the school.
Do read this entire article! This encapsulates the way immigration is supposed to work. These people: came here legally; are working to support themselves and each other; are working to fit into their community and help the community adjust to them; are learning English; the community is adjusting to help their new residents and will be enriched by them.