TO BUILD A DIVERSE AND THRIVING BUSINESS, EMBRACE IMMIGRANTS

Anda Gansca is an immigrant from Romania, who came to the U.S. 14 years ago to attend Standford University. Since then, she has co-founded a tech company – Knotch — built a team of more than 100 people and created a category of software and products that did not exist before the company invented it.

She says it hasn’t been a cakewalk. Simply getting a visa required a lot of time, multiple people vouching for her in front of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and financial assistance from early supporters who believed in our concept despite the risk of losing their investment..

She has faced similar hurdles in hiring other immigrants to build the company. A visa transfer can take anywhere from 30 to 45 days. A new visa can take two to three months. Legal fees can range anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000.

Despite these hurdles, immigrants comprise more than 20 percent of her company’s workforce. She says they are an indispensable asset to the company — and to other employers — for several reasons.

Immigrants are risk takers.  Ms. Gansca says that every immigrant she knows has made an immense leap of faith by leaving their home country, their families and everything they know to come to the U.S. Leaping out of ones comfort zone to see what else is out there creates a strong-willed and determined person.

Immigrants have diverse perspectives. Varied voices and backgrounds challenge the status quo, which leads to the development of innovative technologies.

Immigrants are change agents. Immigrants not only can handle change but also embrace and thrive in it.

Immigrants can see new possibilities. Immigrants have the ability to view the American market as both outsiders and insiders.

Immigrants have a strong work ethic. Just as immigrants were motivated to leave their countries to explore opportunities in the U.S., they are motivated to take full advantage of those opportunities by pouring their energies into their work.

Ms. Gansca highlighted some of these benefits last fall in a campaign called “Opportunity Makers,” a series of interviews and podcasts profiling 15 immigrant executives. It debunked the narrative that immigrants take opportunities away from Americans. More often than not, it found, the immigrant community actually creates opportunities, with their diverse voices and perspectives.

Credit: The Expert, April 30, 2021

Assistance for International Professionals

Did you know that more than two million immigrants and refugees with a college degree or higher are unemployed or underemployed?

That is why Immigrant Pathways Colorado’s valuable partner, Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning, is joining IMPRINT, a national coalition working to advance policies that promote career pathways for immigrants and refugees with international credentials.

The partnership complements Spring Institute’s Colorado Welcome Back Program for international medical graduates.

Read about Rohullah’s journey to become an RN in this country at www.immigrantpathways.org.

Large Increase in Fees for Citizenship Makes LIRC Work More Important Than Ever

The U.S. Department of Security is planning to greatly increase the cost to immigrants applying for citizenship or for a Green Card (work permit).  In addition, for the first time ever in the U.S., there will be  a fee for those applying for asylum.

The cost for a citizenship application, which will go up on October 2, will be $1,170, up 80-plus percent. The cost to apply for a Green Card will rise 83 percent, to $1,140, plus a 51% increase in cost for children. In addition, fee waivers for low-income immigrants are being eliminated.

Many immigrants who are eligible to become citizens are unable to pay for an immigration lawyer to help with their applications, and many will be unable to pay these increased fees.

That makes the work of the Littleton Immigrant Resource Center at Bemis Library even more essential.  The Center is one of the few authorized in the state to assist immigrants with filings, and it does so at low cost.

Littleton has long been known as a community that reaches out and welcomes people from around the world. Certainly, the City has suffered loss of revenue due to COVID-19, but the Center’s budget is small in the scheme of things, and the pandemic should not be an excuse to end a program that is so important to so many. The City Council should continue funding for the Center’s important work.

Immigrants: Essential Health Care Workers

A study by the New American Economy shows that across the U.S., 16.5% of all health care providers are immigrants!

  • Physicians: 28.7% immigrants
  • Surgeons: 19.7% immigrants
  • Registered Nurses: 15.7% immigrants
  • Psychiatrists: 32% immigrants
  • Lab Technicians: 19.6% immigrants
  • Respiratory Therapists: 13.6% immigrants
  • Home Health Aides: 36.5% are immigrants.

Many other immigrants work in housekeeping at hospitals and elsewhere, helping to keep the virus at bay; they are also considered “essential workers.”

Even before COVID-19, there was a severe shortage of health care providers in the U.S.  Here’s a cheer for the immigrants who are risking their own safety to keep us safe!

Key Lessons in Strategic Giving

Adapted from the work of philanthropic strategist Bruce DeBoskey, JD

Go deep, not wide

DeBoskey says that too many donors adopt the “peanut butter” approach to giving – spreading charity thinly across a variety of causes and nonprofits. He believes that donors benefit when they focus deeply on a few carefully selected causes.

Support smaller nonprofits

Many large nonprofits do great work, DeBoskey says, but they are often already well-funded and deeply endowed. Gifts to smaller “grass roots” organizations, in contrast, can make a big difference.

Start now and give boldly

DeBoskey says there is no better time to give than right now. Many people wait until their later years to start giving. In the meantime, philanthropy could have been playing a meaningful role in your life.

Give to repair the world

Philanthropy is a “powerful tool to repair the world,” while also helping donors find more purpose in their lives, DeBoskey says. Philanthropy is “inherently optimistic,” he notes, reflecting the “deeply held belief that we can have a positive impact on stubborn society issues and the lives of others.”

Through giving to nonprofits, you can make a difference, promote change and improve your community.

To learn more, go to www.visitdeboskeygroup.com.

Refugees from Syria

According to Amnesty International, 12 million Syrians have fled their homes in fear. Half of them are children and more than five million of them have left the country and become refugees. Today, 99% of Syrians are held in just five countries:

Turkey – more than 3.6 million Syrian refugees

Lebanon – 949,000

Jordan – 672,000

Iraq – 253,000

Egypt – 133,000

The refugee resettlement process is lengthy, extremely detailed and very safe. Only those Syrian refugees registered by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and identified as being particularly at risk are considered for U.S. resettlement. Syrians go through more security screenings than other refugees before allowed to travel to the U.S.

Amnesty International says there are approximately 225 million refugees – people fleeing their homes because of war, armed conflict, violence, etc. – across the globe.

Immigrants Filling Long-Term Care Jobs

A new study published in Health Affairs finds that immigrants make up nearly 1 in 4 workers in the long-term care sector, and over 25 percent of direct care workers (Yusra Murad, writing in Morning Consult). “Millions of Americans rely on direct care workers, such as nurse aides, home health aides and personal and home care aides, for daily assistance. There was a demand for roughly 2.3 million workers in 2015, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, and as the population ages, that is expected to inflate to 3.4 million by 2030.

Undocumented Students Are Newly Eligible For Financial Aid In Colorado

According to CPR News (May 14, 2019), undocumented college students in Colorado will soon be able to access state financial aid.

Governor Jared Polis has sign a bill into law that allows undocumented students to apply for the $160 million dollars Colorado gives out in financial aid every year.

Until now, undocumented students in Colorado could get College Opportunity Fund dollars and help from their higher education institutions, but state aid has been unavailable to them.

There are some caveats: Students must have attended a Colorado high school for three years before graduating, they must be admitted to a participating college within 12 months of graduating and they must sign a document that says that are seeking or will seek legal status as soon as they’re eligible.

Americans Support for Legal Immigration Grows

The respected Pew Research Center released a report in June of 2018 showing the support for increasing the number of legal immigrants has risen among Americans. 

The study found that 32 percent of Americans feel that legal immigration should be increased, which is the highest percentage since at least 2001.

Conversely, 24 percent say legal immigration should be decreased, while almost 38 percent of Americans believe legal immigration should at least be kept at current levels.

32% of Americans feel that legal immigration should be increased