New report reveals staggering $20,000 each refugee costs taxpayers, but it’s only the beginning

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A new report from Negative Population Growth Inc. shows federal taxpayers on the hook for almost $20,000 for each refugee and asylum seeker who comes into this country, and that’s not even including welfare, medical assistance, food stamps, and housing!

In addition to the over 500,000 legal and illegal immigrants migrating to this country, the U.S. is also currently accepting over 95,000 refugees and asylum seekers. At $20,000 a pop ($19,884 to be exact), that’s quite a lot of cash, cash that we as a nation clearly don’t have.

The real tragedy is, despite President Obama’s determination to bring even MORE refugees here (to the tune of at least 10,000), particularly Muslims, we don’t need to be doing this. From the report:

“The Center for Immigration Studies has calculated that it costs 12 times more to resettle a Syrian refugee in the U.S. as it does to care for the same refugee in neighboring Turkey, Jordan, or Lebanon. (The five year cost of resettling one Middle-Eastern refugee here is conservatively estimated at $64,000, while U.N. figures indicate $5,300 is needed to provide for the same person in his native region.) True humanitarians – people desirous of helping the most people in need – should push for resettling fewer refugees here and more abroad. Yet arrivals to the U.S. still increase. Why?”

The report lists the 1980 Refugee Act as the “major reason,” because by authorizing federal funding for the resettlement of refugees, the act created a public-private partnership of federal, state, and non-governmental bureaucracies dedicated to finding a home for each and every dollar of those federal funds and lobbying for more.

The report focused on the two main federal agencies that sustain the refugee industry:

The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), in the State Department, supports a major share of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ budget. In FY2014 this support came to $1.28 billion, making the U.S. by far the largest donor to the UNHCR. Some of this money is supposedly used to expand the capacity of countries outside the U.S. to absorb refugees – potentially reducing the share of refugees coming to the U.S. Despite this, more refugees come to the U.S. than to the rest of the world combined: 67% of UNHCR-referred refugees settled in the U.S. in 2014.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), enrolls refugees in a broad range of welfare programs – for which refugees automatically qualify after 30 days. ORR spent about $609 million in FY2015. Nearly half of this goes to states and voluntary resettlement agencies to help defray cash, medical assistance, and employment-related assistance for newly arrived refugees. The balance funds formula grants to states and NGOs for English language and employment-related training and the Unaccompanied Alien Children Program.

The result?

A non-governmental refugee resettlement industry, dependent on federal contracts, is the result. Groups like Human Rights First, World Relief, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS), and Episcopal Migration Ministries have strong presences in Washington. Collaborating with the State Department and the UNHCR, they push to have more refugees placed in America, bringing more federal monies flowing into their coffers.”

So as you can see, the forces at work in the “refugee industry” not only continue to destablize American society, they also unnecessarily add billions to an ever-increasing national debt we cannot possibly hope to pay. All the while, the more cost effective and compassionate solution, helping refugees in their own areas of the world, remains largely ignored.

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Scott Morefield is a news and opinion columnist for BizPac Review. In addition to his work on BPR, Scott's commentary can also be found on Townhall, TheBlaze, The Hill, WND, Breitbart, National Review, The Federalist, and many other sites, including A Morefield Life, where he and his wife, Kim, share their marriage and parenting journey.
Scott Morefield

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