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.