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New York, NY—(June 25, 2021) Today the Improving Opportunities for New Americans Act of 2021 was re-introduced in Congress by Reps. Jason Crow (D-CO), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), John Katko (R-NY), and Young Kim (R-CA). The bipartisan legislation would direct the United States Department of Labor to study the barriers that impact employment opportunities of immigrants and refugees who hold international credentials.
World Education Services (WES) strongly supports this landmark legislation.
The contributions of immigrants and refugees are vital to the prosperity of our communities and the nation’s economy, particularly during this critical period of recovery in the U.S. Yet, systemic barriers, including a lack of recognition of international credentials and needed investments in workforce development and adult education, result in the underemployment or unemployment of more than two million college-educated immigrants in the U.S.; 60 percent of these individuals hold international credentials, according to a report from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI). This underutilization of talent limits workforce diversity and denies communities the urgently needed social, cultural, and linguistic abilities of immigrant and refugee workers. According to MPI, it also results in more than $39 billion in forgone earnings and $10 billion in unrealized tax payments.
“WES applauds the reintroduction of the Improving Opportunities for New Americans Act, said WES CEO and Executive Director Esther Benjamin. “This legislation is critical to helping advance economic opportunity for all and redressing inequities that prevent immigrants and refugees from rejoining their fields in the U.S.”
About World Education Services (WES)
World Education Services (WES) is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to helping international students, immigrants, and refugees achieve their educational and career goals in the United States and Canada. For more than 45 years, WES has set the standard of excellence in the field of international academic credential evaluation. Through WES Global Talent Bridge, the organization joins with institutional partners, community-based organizations, and policymakers to help immigrants and refugees who hold international credentials fully utilize their talents and education to achieve their academic and professional goals. Its philanthropic arm, the WES Mariam Assefa Fund, supports catalytic leaders and organizations working to build inclusive economies and to ensure that immigrants and refugees can achieve their aspirations and thrive.