Welcome to America

Things are tough all over.

Zainab Ibrahim and thousands of refugees across America who fled war and persecution just can’t seem to find full-time jobs in a weak economy. And that just doesn’t add up for Ibrahim, who has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Baghdad University and risked her life for the U.S. government.

“It’s everybody’s dream being in the United States. I thought I would get the opportunity I always dreamed about,” she said in fluent English in her sparsely furnished apartment outside Atlanta, Georgia. “I’m really shocked. I found out everything is slow.”

Don’t mean to be callous, but lots of people can’t find jobs.

Three agencies — Church World Service, Episcopal Migration Ministries, and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service — said in a recent statement that “the recession is making it harder for refugee newcomers to find jobs within 180 days of arrival as the program prescribes.”

They said the government’s “one-size-fits-all” approach — the $450 per refugee and eight months of limited cash assistance plus food stamps and Medicaid — “reflects neither what resettlement actually costs nor the importance the U.S. refugee program holds in U.S. foreign policy,” they said.

I’ll say it. We’ve got many other problems to fix within the government that are more important than improving the process with which we deal with refugees.

I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying. We’re in a recession. When there’s a finite amount of resources, things get prioritized. I’m going to guess things like National Defense and the well-being of current citizens will get a better spot in line.

But, I’ll give Ms. Ibrahim credit, she’s got the right attitude…

Ibrahim exudes optimism and determination despite her frustrations. She reminds herself that she survived the war and is still living a dream in America. And she applied for a job not long ago.

“Keep your fingers crossed,” she said.

That’s about all any of us can do. Best of luck to her.

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3 Responses to Welcome to America

  1. Niall says:

    I read stories like this and cringe. Why? Because I’ve been trying to fill two very high-paying positions in my organization (software development) for six months now, and cannot find anyone qualified or interested who is American to fill them. These are $80K plus/year salaries we are talking about, with bonus and fantastic benefits. And we’re in the middle of a terrible recession with hundreds of thousands laid off. Yet I can’t seem to give them away.

    It’s very sad to see how few Americans are qualified in engineering, and how many foreigners are. In the long run, this can’t be good for the country.

    • Jessica says:

      Look, you live in Canada now. Your life is better in Canada that it ever would have been in Palestine, reresdlags of whether Israel existed or not. I really don’t understand the attraction to this place. There’s no oil there! It’s very dry and not very good for agriculture. Ok, it’s got all these historic places filled with religious meaning for Palestinians, Jews and Christians. These groups all think they have divine right to this territory. Yet, other than that, how is that better than Canada? Your standard of living is higher, better schools, healthcare, a government that is more open, provides equal protection for women, minorities, etc. Yes, you can cling to your family tradition and how everyone was treated so badly. Or you can look ahead to the future and count your blessings. You will serve your people much better by focusing on the former, not the later. The Jews are never leaving.VA:F [1.9.20_1166]

    • Missy says:

      Look, you need to set both Zionism and Jihad aside. That’s for them, not for us. Join the rest of the world, who realizes that this plenat is too small for this nonsense. Yes, the Arabs are never leaving the Middle East. Yes, the Jews are never leaving Israel. I made no suggestion of either. . .and your response strongly suggests there’s still a ball-and-chain. That’s social incarceration. Gee, everybody used to get along pretty well, hundreds of years ago. The Moorish Caliphate had a Jew as his Finance Minister. Look at all the people who have died. . .who suffer, and will continue to suffer. If we agree that this ought to stop, what do you suggest to make it stop?VA:F [1.9.20_1166]

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