The Utah Department of Workforce Services conducted a seminar yesterday to promote refugee employment in the state. The Salt Lake City meeting drew prospective employers, refugee resettlement workers and immigration lawyers (of course).
One discussion made mention of the fact that some earlier refugees, especially those from European countries knew the basics of employment, but more recent waves of immigrants find work challenging because it was not something they did while living in camps.
They were not afforded education,” Nakamura said. “They were not afforded well-skilled jobs. … We’re talking about people who are illiterate in their own language.”
Smith, of Air Terminal Gifts, agrees. She said that during the 1990s she hired people from the former Yugoslavia who had attended school and worked jobs that required them to be on time and perform tasks efficiently. More recent waves of refugees can be difficult to train.
“You’re honestly trying to teach them from scratch,” she said. “You’re teaching them the basics.”
An immigration lawyer then gave this veiled warning, presumably suggesting his folks would be keeping an eye on things.
Roger Tsai, an immigration attorney for local firm Parsons Behle & Latimer, reminded employers that they cannot discriminate against refugees, because the refugees are protected by the Civil Rights Act.
And then there was one lonely commenter to the article (identified only as KM) trying to clarify a point. His comment kind of summed things up.
Acutally when refugees arrive in the county they are immediately eligible to work for an indefinite amount of time, not just 90 days upon arrival. This is very important for employers to understand, as there are a lot of misunderstandings of what rights refugees have. They have all rights that American citizens have other than voting.
After reading the article in the Desseret Morning News, I wondered if the prospect of hiring refugees had appealed to anyone present.
Here’s a question I’ve raised before: what happens if the economy goes very sour, who will be employing refugees when English speaking American citizens will need jobs? One thing for sure, by importing poverty, the Democratic party will always have the poverty issue to beat us around the head with.