Here is an article from a college newspaper, “The Pitt News,” that talks about students helping refugees primarily to find jobs. My guess is that job hunting is going to be a huge problem in coming months and years if the predictions about the economy come to pass.
A Pitt group that helps refugees from war-torn countries now living in the United States recently launched a program to match students with refugees to help them find jobs.
The group formed by the students at the University of Pittsburgh found out that the refugees are either over-qualified or under-qualified for employment that is available.
Facilitating Opportunities for Refugee Growth and Empowerment is working closely with Catholic Charities to find clients who need assistance through a Refugee Resettlement Initiative.
“We tried to figure out what major issues were facing refugees in Pittsburgh and how Pitt students could alleviate them,” said Molly Ferra, FORGE regional director and a Pitt senior.
Through working with Catholic Charities’ employment specialists, FORGE members discovered that many of the refugees were either overqualified or under-qualified for jobs in the United States.
We have seen this dilemna elsewhere. Refugees who are engineers or doctors where they came from must literally return to school to be qualified to work in America, so they end up cleaning motels and such.
It’s good these students are trying to help because, as the students learned, the refugee resettlement agencies are paid to help the refugees for only a few months and once their federal dole runs out, they turn their attention to a new batch of refugees who come with taxpayer dollars attached.
One reason it’s important for Catholic Charities to connect with Pitt is that the organization only has two employment specialists, two caseworkers and limited money for resettlement programs.
A lot of the money the organization has goes toward new refugee arrivals.
But, darn, don’t those students have a tough job according to the Catholic Charities representative. They need to keep these refugees from being sucked into our materialistic society. Imagine that these refugees would want cell phones and cars! Tsk! Tsk!
“They’re basically being seduced in this western, very materialistic culture. We see people buying cell phones and vehicles, and then what happens is there may be two parents working in the household but one’s job may be cut, and then they’re not able to pay all their bills.”
O.K. So, I was (mostly) fine with all this. Afterall, we have been advocating that these agencies reach out to churches and other groups in a bigger way and find refugees more help to become a part of our culture and to be self-sufficient.
But, then the student leader ruins it all by making this comment.
Ferra said FORGE is trying to acculturate the refugees. “It doesn’t mean assimilation – giving up their customs or religion,” Ferra said.
Heaven forbid we should ask anyone to give up any part of their religion or culture and assimilate! When did we get to the point where ‘assimilate’ is a bad word? In this brave new world of cultural relativism, anything one does in the name of culture and religion is just dandy.
Ms. Ferra, is every religious practice equal and acceptible in your mind? How about if the practice is illegal, can we then request a refugee give it up when becoming an American? I had in mind polygamy, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and honor killings—all are an acceptable part of Islam.