This week there have been a bunch of stories in which the news hook is the tenth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, and although we supposedly gave them a democracy and supposedly things have calmed down in Iraq—tens of thousands are still waiting in Jordan to come to your town in hopes of getting a job and finding the American dream.
Here is one such story from the Jordan Times.
We applaud this refugee man’s wish to work, but I sure hope the IOM has him adequately informed:
While the US might be seen as the land of opportunity for many, Abu Sufyan is mindful of the various challenges awaiting him.
He is “scared of the future” in a country where he does not know many people or speak the language.
But if there is one thing he can do, it is to find employment. [Not so much! See below—ed]
While his sponsor will help him get on his feet, Abu Sufyan says, “I will depend on myself. Of course I am going to need help in the beginning, but I will avoid asking people for help. I don’t like to sit still. I would like to get a job and feed my family.”
Perhaps Abu Sufyan’s determination was cemented after his cultural orientation organised by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
Daryl Morrissey, an emergency response project manager at the IOM, explained that a lot of effort has been put into designing the resettlement orientation programme, whereby participants could come to their own conclusions on what life in their new country of residence will be like.
“We try to give them a very realistic perspective. We let them know how difficult it is to get jobs; even if they have professional qualifications these may not be accepted in the US and it may take them several years to be recertified, so that means they may have to take entry-level jobs.”
Let’s have a look at his chances of finding a job—based on the 2009 Annual Report to Congress on the refugee program (the most recent summary we have since ORR has not released more recent figures). So, if things have improved for Iraqis in the US, we don’t know it because ORR hasn’t reported since this 2009 report came out only last month.
The Annual Report (beginning on p. 113) tells us that the US unemployment rate for Iraqis is at 46%. The average hourly wage is $8.80! The average number of weeks worked was 25! 37% took 7-12 months to find the first job.
(BTW, isn’t the gang of eight in the US Senate telling us that we need more immigrant labor as they craft an amnesty for 11 million illegal aliens?)
89% of the surveyed Iraqis are on Medicaid or a special Refugee Medical program (also paid for with tax dollars), 86% get some sort of taxpayer-funded cash assistance, and 95% are on food stamps.
We have some sympathy for Jordan. Surely they want to move the Iraqis out, because as we reported the other day, here, masses of Syrians are now moving in!
For ambitious readers! We have 563 previous posts on Iraqi refugees in our special category on the subject.