Life in ‘the land of the free’ is nothing like most Hollywood films depict.
Many workers in the US struggle to make ends meet on a minimum wage of US$9.84 per hour (AU$13.66), with few to no benefits.
Those lucky enough to find work with benefits generally start with only two weeks of annual leave. Sick leave is minimal. And health insurance is among the most expensive in the world.
With that said, the unemployment rate is only 3.7%. This means most refugees who want to find work — and are willing to work long, hard hours — can make a living in the US.
But that appears too much to ask of some of the refugees recently relocated to the US from Nauru, following years of painstaking high-level negotiations.
Refugees complaining about US life
Nauru’s President Baron Waqa says 40 of the 300 people sent to the US have contacted the government asking to return because life there isn’t ‘easy’.
Life in Nauru, on the other hand, is cheap, warm and relaxed, Waqa told The Australian.
‘The US — it’s a difficult place to live, a lot of competition for work and jobs… They call America the land of the free and all that but (there are) a lot of catches and they soon find out that it’s not that easy.’
As the AAP reports, his comments echo those of Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.
Last month Dutton reported, much to the outrage of the politically correct brigade, that refugees resettled in the US were complaining to their friends still on Nauru that life in the US was too difficult. And that the welfare system wasn’t what they’d hoped for.
Speaking to parliament, Dutton said:
‘We are seeing … reports of people that have gone from Nauru to the United States saying it is harder than they thought because they need to find work in the United States… They are saying to people on Nauru now you would be better to go to New Zealand or Australia because they have a better welfare system.’
The federal government continues to stress that nobody processed through Nauru will ever call Australia home.
Knowing that softening this strict policy would only encourage people smugglers and a new wave of boats, this is true even for those found to be genuine refugees.
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