According to a new study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the United States is spending more than $867 million annually on welfare benefits for foreign refugees. Taxpayers are footing this bill, which is part of the total $1.8 billion a year that it costs to resettle these refugees in the U.S.
The numbers are the latest insight into what is included in making the United States a refuge for foreigners, many of whom are not fleeing violence or oppression but rather coming to this country for brighter economic opportunity. Economic opportunity that is, at the end of the day, coming from the federal government – not their own labor.
The study revealed a number of distressing economic realities when it comes to the cost of resettling refugees in the U.S. Each refugee costs an average of $79,000 a year in taxpayer money for the first five years of their resettlement. Last year alone, the State Department spent north of $500,000 to resettle refugees. State and local governments are spending approximately $70 million on the education of refugees over the course of their first five years, and 15% of refugees will need federal housing assistance over that same period of time.
Under President Obama, the U.S. helped make a mess of things in Syria, which in turn led to an explosion in the number of Middle Eastern, Muslim refugees into this country. In his last year, Obama allowed nearly 40,000 Muslim refugees into the United States at a time when the terrorist threat from ISIS was an its apex. Thankfully, President Trump has dramatically turned that number around, lowering admissions caps and letting in even fewer refugees than those caps would suggest. Official government figures show that Trump has slashed the admittance rate by 70%, cutting it out altogether for a few of the most dangerous countries in the world.
As our current president has said many times, this isn’t about whether or not the U.S. can or will be compassionate to those struggling to survive war-torn conditions or annihilated governments or brutal authoritarians. This isn’t even about the money, at the end of the day, although we should always keep an eye on how much we’re spending. It’s about keeping our country safe and our economy thriving. We do not have to turn compassion into a suicide pact, which is where the Democrats would love to take us. We don’t have to sacrifice our way of life, the way Europeans in certain countries are being forced to do. We can help, but we can also keep our wits about us.
It’s really not that much to ask.