Cactus doing well with refugees

Cactus Police Chief Mike Broyles says the town has come a long way since 2006 when refugees began arriving in earnest to work at the nearby JB Swift meat processing plant.

Broyles says in those days folks were afraid to go out at night because of the disorder.

He says people thought the town was corrupt and lawless.

But all thatâ??s changed, he says.

The town of 3100 people can boast 37 dialects and peace and order.

Cactus Resident David Manyok, originally from Sudan, said, "you can stay in your house, go to work, make your money, go back to your house, cook and eat and sleep.ã?? Thatâ??s why I like Cactus."ã?? He works at the Swift plant.

In 2006, Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided the Swift plant and others across the country.ã?? Hundreds of illegal workers were arrested so Swift had to find more labor.

Moore County Judge Rowdy Rhoades said, "You have to look at it a lot of different ways.ã?? They were trying to stay in business, so they started recruiting refugees.ã?? The impact, itâ??s pretty much changed our county."

Broyles says heâ??s revamped the policies and procedures for the Police Department to make it them conform to state and federal law.

On his way to work at the Swift plant, Cactus resident Bashir Muse, originally from Somalia, said, "Oh, Cactus is nice.ã?? Itâ??s a good place for immigrants, you know?"