Each Refugee Costs U.S. Taxpayers $20,000

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When it comes to President Obama’s plan to bring thousands of Syrian refugees into the country, critics have largely restricted their concerns to those of national security. Because of Syria’s war-torn nature, it is difficult – if not impossible – to properly vet these refugees for Islamic terrorists who might sneak through the pipeline. And at a time when ISIS is looking high and low for new opportunities to launch bloody attacks on the West, it is irresponsible to put innocent Americans in mortal danger just so Obama can play Savior of the World.

But Syrian refugees make up only a tiny fraction of the total number of asylum-seekers who relocate to the United States every year, and national security is only one aspect of the problem.

According to a new report from Negative Population Growth, Inc., the U.S. is currently spending $19,884 of taxpayer money on each and every refugee that comes across the border. Since our country welcomes some 95,000 refugees a year, we’re on the hook for about $1.8 billion annually. Some of this money goes to agencies helping to relocate refugees, but the majority of it goes straight to the United Nations.

Why the UN? Government officials defend the expenditures, saying this money goes to help other countries take on a greater portion of the refugee burden. Be that as it may, the U.S. is still far and away the #1 destination for refugees; in 2014, we took in 67% of refugees referred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. That’s not just more than any other single country – it’s more than the rest of the world combined.

And yet we still have to hear the UN complain that we’re not doing enough.

The $20K figure, actually, is only the tip of the iceberg. According to the report, refugees take full advantage of a wide range of federal welfare programs once settled in their new home. 74% of refugees accept SNAP assistance (food stamps), 47% receive cash benefits from the federal government, 56% are enrolled in Medicaid, and 22% receive some form of housing subsidy.

No one’s suggesting that the United States close its doors to individuals who are suffering, but there comes a point when we have to get serious about the economic perils of unrestrained spending. Our entitlement programs are sliding rapidly towards insolvency, our national wages are frozen in place, and a third of the American population is out of work. Being the richest nation in the world comes with responsibilities, but if we keep heading down this path, we won’t be the richest nation much longer.