Outside the Tyson plant in Noel, Mo., a sign reads, “Now hiring, call today.” Immigrants and refugees are the ones flocking to work here, not locals.
At 4:30 p.m., cars arrive at the plant to drop off night shift workers wearing flowered skirts and hijabs. The approximately 1,500 employees come from Africa, the Pacific, Latin America and Asia.
“I get a lot of that, ‘Missouri?'” Micronesian migrant Lou Rehobson said, laughing. “We like it here.”
He once picked fruit as a teenager in California. Now, middle-aged, Garrido just bought a new tractor. He remembers when it was delivered to his day job at an autobody shop. When Garrido went out to sign for the vehicle, his boss looked shocked.
“You’re the one who bought the tractor?” he asked.