Employers Hire Refugees As More Americans Fail Drug Tests
Employers are looking to hire refugees as more Americans fail drug tests, according to a CNN article that was published recently.
Americans Fail Drug Tests
The percentage of American workers that are coming up positive for illegal drugs has been growing for the past three years, according to Quest Diagnostics. Stirling Technologies, a plastic molding factory that is based near Erie, PA, has 40 refugees working at their company and will most likely be hiring more if trends don’t change.
“Twenty percent of the people are failing,” stated Cary Quigley, Stirling Technologies president. “We’re seeing positive tests anywhere from marijuana through amphetamines, right all the way through crystal meth and heroin.”
This has made it much easier for men like Talib Alzamel, a Syrian refugee who was hired within three months of arriving with his wife and five children in Pennsylvania, to obtain employment, even with a language barrier.
“In our lives, we don’t have drugs,” said Alzamel. “We don’t even know what they look like or how to use them.”
Ban On Refugees
Since Donald Trump took office, the status of refugees has been under critical review. In early March, Trump signed a new order that would ban immigration from some Muslim-majority nations, as well as reinstated a temporary ban on all refugees. Now with the increase in positive drug tests among American workers at these large factories, the refugees who have made it to the U.S. are finding jobs hourly that pay anywhere from $8-14.
Many want to blame the heroin epidemic for this issue, but other factors are also to blame. Since the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, one oil and trucking company conducted a random drug screening where at least 80% of their employees came up positive, mainly for marijuana. And since the law states that a company can fire their employees for marijuana use even if it is legal, they had to replace those who came up positive.
Recovering drug addicts are also speaking out, asking for second chances.
“I know that refugees need an opportunity when they come here, and employers give them the opportunity. But people like us that live here also need an opportunity,” explained Bethany Kaschak, 34. “I’m not saying they don’t deserve it. But we deserve it as well.”
As more Americans fail drug tests, many are wondering how this will affect the drug epidemic, businesses, and ultimately the economy.
A Nationwide Epidemic
Drug addiction has become a nationwide issue, so it is not a huge shock to know that many employees are showing positive on their drug tests. But it is still shocking that nothing more is being done about it, except replacing them in the workplace. Everyone deserves a second chance at the opportunity to rebuild their lives, but changes have to be made so that all people can achieve their dreams.