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Employment Barriers


Employment Barriers

The U.S. Department of Justice authorizes refugees and Asylum seekers to work in the United States. To achieve this, they must face all the immigration processes required to access employment authorization. Upon arrival, they want to become self-sufficient, lawfully support themselves and their families, and contribute economically to their new communities. Amid a historic labor shortage, finding work is not the problem, but the issue is how they face the barriers in accessing legal permission to contribute to the workforce.


Administrative and statutory barriers to work authorization for new arrivals are severe, and this situation is even more challenging to overcome when newcomers face obstacles such as language, knowledge, or misinformation. If asylum seekers and refugees could work, they would likely find their housing and pay their bills, easing the burden on state and local governments and providing a labor, social and economic contribution to the host communities.

According to The Economic and Fiscal Impact of Refugees in Colorado Report, the refugees make measurable contributions to the Colorado economy, primarily through their employment in diverse industries. The findings in this report show that refugee resettlement can be viewed as a successful humanitarian program that contributes to shared prosperity for local communities. Refugee resettlement is an internationally agreed framework that aims to provide a pathway to safety and a durable solution for refugees. But how can we generate a safe and sustainable path for the refugee community over time? To solve this, we first need to study the refugee's profile and how it changes after the border crisis, all the barriers they must face upon arrival, and the possible solutions to achieve long-term results for effective resettlement.


According to Denver Data, in the last year, the city has seen 15,515 immigrants arrive at a cost of more than $23 million. Every day, additional refugees are arriving in Denver. While some will leave, others do not have friends or family elsewhere in America and will make Colorado their new home. This situation puts us in a position to create long-term solutions that go beyond providing their basic needs since, although migrants indeed need assistance with food, hygiene, and shelter, most of them keep fighting with misinformation and finding a way in which they can become self-sufficient through their work. The reality is that the refugees arriving in America will exist off jobs that are technically illegal and grossly underpaid.


The Denver Post explains that this is unfortunate as America has record-low unemployment, and businesses across the state are struggling to find employees. These men, women, and children have not walked thousands of thousands and risked their lives so they could live in poverty in America. They are not drug addicts or beggars. They are not scary or dangerous. They want to work and be allowed to rebuild their lives under safe conditions.


In this sense, to address the immigrant community's barriers upon arrival, The Refugees Foundation seeks to promote projects that allow them to overcome misinformation, creating programs that make them work-eligible individuals and maximizing their job opportunities through information, preparation, and orientation programs.

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