by Michael Patrick Leahy
American taxpayers will spend more than $4.1 billion in the 2017 budget to support the 519,018 refugees who have been resettled by the federal government in the United States since October 2009, according to a cost estimate by Breitbart News.
Even if the Trump administration were to entirely shut down the flow of refugees into the United States in FY 2018 and beyond, the refugees who have already arrived in the country will cost at least another $3.5 billion in 2018, and about $2 billion to $3 billion annually thereafter until FY 2022 and beyond.
The annual $4.1 billion cost of these refugees is about eight percent of “the total annual fiscal impact of first generation [immigrants to the United States] and their dependents, averaged across 2011-2013,” which the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, in September 2016, estimated “is a cost of $57.4 billion.”
That report offered this summary of the characteristics of all immigrants to the United States between 1995 and 2014:
- The number of immigrants living in the United States increased by more than 70 percent—from 24.5 million (about 9 percent of the population) in 1995, to 42.3 million (about 13 percent of the population) in 2014; the native-born population increased about 20 percent during the same period.
- Annual flows of lawful permanent residents have increased. During the 1980s, just under 600,000 immigrants were admitted legally (received green cards) each year; after the 1990 Immigration Act took effect, legal admissions increased to just under 800,000 per year; since 2001 legal admissions have averaged just over 1 million per year.
- Estimates of the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States roughly doubled from about 5.7 million in 1995 to about 11.1 million in 2014.
“For the 2011-2013 period, the net cost to state and local budgets of first generation adults [who have immigrated to the United States] is, on average, about $1,600 each,” the National Academies report found.
The analysis that estimates a $4.1 billion annual cost of refugees is based on the same methodology and data used in a November 2015 study from the non-partisan Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), which concluded that “in their first five years in the United States each refugee from the Middle East costs taxpayers $64,370—12 times what the UN estimates it costs to care for one refugee in neighboring Middle Eastern countries.”
…in at least one significant welfare program the rate goes up with each year in the country.
SSI, a cash welfare program for the disabled or elderly, is used by about 14 percent of refugees in the first year of arrival. Slightly more than 29 percent of refugee families who have been here for five years have one or more members receiving SSI, a lifetime benefit in most cases. Each year of residence brought an increase in the rate of SSI usage, as Table 1 below, taken from the Office of Refuge Resettlement’s 2014 Annual Survey of Refugees (where it is listed as Table II-20) shows.
Much more data and tables breaking down the Islam tax being forced on Americans at the link above.