The White House this week issued a formal Call to Action for U.S. firms to make “new, measurable, and significant commitments that will have a long-term, sustainable impact on MUSLIM refugees residing in countries on the frontlines of this crisis and in countries of resettlement, like the United States.”
CNBC by Ziad Haider serves as the Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State: The Call to Action flows from the Obama administration’s ongoing leadership in response to the human tragedy of 20 million refugees being scattered across the globe today. Since the start of the Syrian conflict that has displaced 4.5 million people, the administration has provided over $5 billion in humanitarian aid.
On Sept. 20, President Obama will host a summit of world leaders on the refugee crisis to secure increased pledges for aid; measures to help MUSLIM refugees become contributing members of their host communities, including getting one million adults the legal right to work; and a greater intake of MUSLIM refugees through resettlement and work programs.
According to Upwardly Global — an organization focused on helping MUSLIM refugees build careers. Some companies in the United States are already actively tapping this potential. Nearly 30 percent of the workforce of Chobani, a leading MUSLIM-owned yogurt company, consists of MUSLIM refugees resettled in the United States.
Yet the hiring process can be fraught and risks, in the words of one Muslim refugee, considerable “brain waste.” During the roundtable I participated in on World Refugee Day, I heard firsthand from individuals who had been accountants, journalists, and engineers in their home countries and who struggled against the odds to have their skills and potential ultimately recognized by U.S. employers to mutual benefit. (You mean like all the highly-educated and skilled Jews and Italians who came to the U.S. in the early 20th Century and ended up working as cab drivers or laborers for years?)
The experiences of these individuals indicates the potential for U.S. companies to reap real talent — to do well and to do good by taking a broader view of employing MUSLIM refugees. As the White House Call to Action outlines, there are a variety of avenues through which companies can engage beyond hiring refugees. These span providing vocational training and apprenticeships to extending technical assistance and seed funding to MUSLIM refugees to allow them to start new businesses; prioritizing the procurement of goods and services from MUSLIM refugee-run businesses to enabling access to key financial services.
In recognition of the clear economic and social value of such efforts, the 2016 Awards for Corporate Excellence that will be given by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry later this year will include a new category on inclusive hiring practices, notably the hiring of Muslim refugees.
Washington Examiner To add insult to injury and further hurt American job seekers, in October 2015, the Obama Regime dangled $12,000 bonuses in taxpayer money to American corporations who hire foreign students.
The Department of Homeland Security is readying a plan to expand a program that pays U.S. employers to hire foreign STEM students taught in America, a move that could end up punishing American college grads and even the elderly, according to an immigration think tank.
Currently, the program urges companies to hire STEM students for a year. CIS said firms are paid up to $10,000 to participate. The new proposal, said CIS, is to add on another year and $2,000 in bonuses.
David North, a CIS fellow, said that the proposed changes should be headlined: “DHS Proposes Bonuses for Employers Who Hire Aliens Rather than Citizens.”
DHS, by defining a recent college grad as a student, takes both the worker and the employer out from under payroll taxes — thus penalizing the Social Security and Medicare trust funds directly, and our elders indirectly. Congress did not make this decision, at least not directly; but since foreign students and their employers have privileges denied to citizens and green card holders alike, the bonus has been created.
In the current document, DHS proposes to extend the additional 17 months for STEM workers to 24 months; thus from a total period of 29 months to 36 months, about a 20 percent increase. If the bonus given to employers for hiring a STEM graduate is worth $10,000 under the old rules, it is now worth $12,000, and is that much more likely to cause an employer to hire a former F-1 student than a green card or citizen graduate.