Don’t be fooled, Donald Trump’s merciless war on immigrants is not limited to the undocumented, as he affirms in a failed attempt to justify his cruelty and bigotry. Him and his minions are also going after thousands of people who have fled terrible violence, murderous regimes and drug gangs – often supported, created or tolerated by the U.S. - and are seeking asylum in the U.S.
The Trump administration, with xenophobic furor, has cut back the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. so much, that it would be laughable were it not because it callously impacts the sheer survival of hundreds of thousands of people around the world. This year, despite Washington’s purported concern about the suffering of the Syrian people, U.S. has admitted a grand total of 11 – yes, eleven -- refugees from Syria this year. Sickening hypocrisy.
Then again what can you expect when the nation’s president viciously calls “animals” desperate people who flee their countries to save their lives and seek refuge in the U.S., the self-proclaimed champion of human rights?
“We have people coming into the country or trying to come in — we’re stopping a lot of them,” Trump said. “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people, these are animals, and we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before.” It’s time to stop pussyfooting around it: this was hate speech.
As Miami Herald’s columnist Fabiola Santiago wrote: “We're talking about women and children with the broken, suffering faces of people who flee terrible circumstances unimaginable to most Americans. We're talking about men whose crime is struggling to give their families a better life. ‘Animals,’ and ‘not people.’ There's no excuse for that language.”
The FPI report, “Refugees as Employees,” released this week, makes clear the absurdity of deciding what kind of immigration measures should be implemented guided by bigotry and ignorance. It also makes clear the unfairness and immorality of unconscionably stirring hate for and fear of refugees by dehumanizing them.
“There’s now plenty of data to show that refugees themselves do well once they’ve had a chance to get settled in the U.S.,” said David Dyssegaard Kallick, the Fiscal Policy Institute director of Immigration Research Initiative. “And, now we can see that it works well for employers as well.”
The report, based on more than 100 interviews, including 26 employers of refugees in four regions of the country - Eastern Nebraska, Phoenix, Arizona, the Atlanta metro area, and upstate New York, found that employers that have hired refugees have had a very positive experience.
“Those employers we interviewed overwhelmingly saw lower turnover rates, and as a natural corollary saw an expanded recruitment pool,” said Dyssegaard Kallick. “In many cases, the adjustments employers made to make refugee employment work well also led to overall improvements - the managers got to be better managers through having to work through issues like having employees with less English language ability or learning to assess potential hires on a broader basis than just whether they already had the specific skills needed for the job.” No downside here.
This meticulously researched report is sure to make one wonder if the real “animals” are the people seeking protection – naively, as it happens -- in the U.S. or the racist cabal that has taken over the White House. Feel free to arrive to your own conclusions.
The report’s full name is “Refugees as Employees: Good Retention, Strong Recruitment.” It can be accessed at the Institute’s website, www.fiscalpolicy.org.