What is a legal immigrant?
A legal immigrant is a person who comes to the US after satisfying certain requirements set forth by US Department of Homeland Security. He or she must have a qualifying family relationship or a viable offer of employment in order to get a visa.
What is a refugee?
A refugee is someone living outside his/her country or place of origin who cannot return to that country due to fear of persecution or death for ethnic, religious or political reasons. The US offers refugees special protection under UN conventions; refugees do not have to meet the immigrant visa requirements.
Where do immigrants and refugees come from?
Immigrants and refugees come from many parts of the world. We have welcomed immigrants from Korea, Venezuela, Jamaica, Russia and many other locations; over the years, our refugees often come from regions with political or civil unrest such as Thailand, Burma, Kosovo, Bosnia, Laos, Sudan, to name a few.
How do immigrants and refugees arrive in the US?
Over 1,000,000 immigrants arrive legally into the US each year. The majority comes on the basis of family relationships; others come based on special employment skills. These immigrants receive special visas entitling them to come to the US legally. Generally between 60,000 and 70,000 refugees arrive in the US each year, depending on a “Presidential Determination” signed by the President which outlines the number of refugees that may be admitted by the US during that year. Refugees must prove to the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) that they qualify as a refugee. If approved, they are granted refugee status. Many refugees wait months or years in camps to be granted permission to come to the US.
Are immigrants and refugees legally entitled to work?
Yes. Immigrants with a lawful employment authorization are entitled to work in the US. Refugee status indicates a legal entry into the US. As refugees, they are entitled to a number of benefits, including the right to work lawfully. For purposes of employment, our clients have an I-94 and social security card to satisfy the requirements of the I-9 form.
What kind of work do they do?
Our clients come with a wide variety of skills and experience. Some speak English well and have advanced degrees. Others are just learning English and may not have had the opportunity to complete their education, but are eager to learn new skills. What they may lack in formal training, they make up for in motivation and dedication. These individuals are anxious to obtain employment to be able to move forward with their lives in America.