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Robert Cohen: Refugees have right to work

09/11/2014
Attorney Robert Cohen was quoted in a Sept. 11, 2014 article in the Columbus Dispatch on hiring foreign refugees. A refugee is someone who has been persecuted for their political ideology, their religion, ethnic differences or gender and has been granted asylum. “A refugee has the legal right to work on day one when they enter this country,” Cohen said. More refugees are coming to Central Ohio from several countries, including Iraq, Bhutan and Myanmar, and already is home to thousands of Somali refugees. About 1,000 refugees come to Central Ohio every year, the article said. “There’s a lot of misunderstanding,” Cohen said. “Employers can’t hire illegal aliens — a term I find offensive — and so they worry they’ll hire someone they’re not authorized to hire and shy away from it.” Refugees can show potential employers their passport or I-9 form from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to prove their status and legal right to work, Cohen said.