During an interview with CNN, businessman Craig Quigley said he has been forced to hire Syrian refugees in recent months because locals are struggling with drug addiction. This claim wouldn't be as shocking if it hadn't come from a man who supports President Donald Trump.
As the president of Sterling Technologies, Trump-backing Quigley told reporters that his company has become reluctant in employing Erie, Pennsylvania, workers as about 20 percent of candidates regularly fail drug tests. The solution? Hire refugees.
“The immigrant workforce that’s here has filled a void that we had, that we were unable to fill with our local labor pool,” he stated.
During the exchange, Quigley explained that what compelled him to support Trump was his views on tax cuts. However, that does not make him a supporter of the president's immigration stance. After all, if deportation raids start impacting the lives of his current and future workers, he will have fewer options.
While he said he would be more than happy to hire American workers, he believes more need to get “off drugs” first.
“Do I want to see all of my people deported? Absolutely not. They’re part of this company, they’ve helped build this company. We can’t grow without people who want to do work.”
Many employers in the United States see addictions as a red flag, which keep them from hiring individuals who are recovering from mistakes they made in the past.
Because many substances remain illegal at the federal level, past convictions related to non-violent drug-related crimes are also red flags for employers. As a result, people with past addictions have difficulty obtaining jobs at large companies, such as retail outlets and other stores.
While it's saddening to see so many Americans missing opportunities because of mistakes they are trying hard to put behind them, it's also important to highlight the role immigrants play.