Immigrants Play Vital Role in America’s Past, Present and Future
A case in point is the story of Abera (pictured here) and his wife, Alem, becoming U.S. citizens. For the past four years, Daily Work has been Abera’s partner as he has progressed from unemployment and minimum wage jobs to now working full-time for a major Minnesota employer earning nearly $50,000 per year.
Abera personifies the American Dream. His resilience, intelligence, and adaptability are inspirational. He is the type of person that makes America great. At Daily Work, we are lucky to know so many immigrants like Abera and to see first-hand, the skills and attributes they are contributing to our community.
As an employment-focused organization, we have the privilege of talking with job seekers about their hopes, goals and dreams, because their employment, or lack thereof, impacts the extent to which they can achieve those dreams. In the course of our conversations, we each feel our shared human experience, no matter the country of our birth.
As the conversations about limiting immigration continue in our country (e.g. potential immigration ban affecting immigrants from six countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen), I wonder how this and other efforts to reduce immigration could ultimately undermine America due to the loss of talented, industrious people like Abera. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce takes this position on immigration:
The United States needs immigrants. They bring entrepreneurial energy that creates jobs for all who live in America. They help fill gaps and labor shortages in our workforce, which in turn protects American jobs because if companies can't find all the workers they need here, they will be forced to the move the work somewhere else.
In addition, reducing immigration will increase the immense hardship felt by people in war-torn Syria and it will exacerbate suffering due to famine in places such as Somalia, Yemen and Sudan. Limiting immigration impacts the most vulnerable people in our world today…the people who need help the most, mitigating America's ability to provide relief and leadership in these significant world crises.
As we navigate the changes occurring in our community, country, and world, Daily Work relies on five values to guide our work. The first of these is dignity. “We acknowledge and honor the fundamental value of all people. We pledge to create and to maintain an environment that respects diverse traditions, heritages, and experiences.”
As part of this pledge, Daily Work is committed to honoring, welcoming, advocating for, and learning from our job seekers and to sharing the wonderful talents and traditions they are contributing to our community. We stand with them and with all people around the world, united by our shared humanity.
By Julie Hoff, Executive Director