Refugees are fully authorized by the US Department of Justice to work in the United States.
Two issues of key importance to refugees, refugee employment service providers and employers are documentation and legal protections against discrimination.
Refugees - including refugees per se, asylees, entrants and Amerasian immigrants - are issued a confusing array of documents by the US Department of Justice which indicate status, employment authorization and dates and/or timeframes of validity of the authorization documents.
The interpretation of these documents presents potential problems for employers, who are required to evaluate such documents and maintain records in accordance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 and regulations prescribing employment authorization verification, data collection and retention using form I-9. Employers need to understand:
As a further complication, interim regulations for I-9 procedures are currently in effect, but certain civil penalties are not currently being assessed, pending the issuance of final rules.
The PA Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP) advises employers to familiarize themselves with the applicable statutes and regulations, and to keep informed regarding possible regulatory changes.
At the same time, the RRP urges employers to take advantage of the expertise of its employment service contractors, who are responsible for facilitating the hiring process on behalf of refugees in Pennsylvania.