Obama to Georgia: Give Syrian Refugees Welfare Now

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On November 16, Georgia governor Nathan Deal issued an executive order to state agencies, putting an end to any cooperation with the Obama administration when it comes to resettling refugees from the Middle East. The state is one of nearly thirty that has told the federal government that it wants no part of Syrian refugees in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks.

Now the administration has fired back with a warning to Deal: Give Syrian refugees their food stamps or else.

“As long as an applicant submits a SNAP application that includes the applicant’s name, address, and signature, the state agency must accept and process the application to be in compliance with federal law,” Jessica Shahin of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program said in a letter to Georgia officials.

In the letter, Shahin warned Georgia lawmakers to rescind the executive order and begin complying with federal law as it pertains to the SNAP program. State officials have yet to respond publicly to the warning.

In all the (necessary) discussion about the security threat posed by the refugee resettlement program, the financial cost of housing these refugees has gone largely overlooked. Even if there was no security threat whatsoever – an assumption that not even President Obama himself is willing to make – there is plenty of reason to pause and consider the economic toll these refugees are taking on the country.

According to a report from the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, almost all Middle Eastern refugees are on some form of federal welfare. That includes 68.3% on some form of cash assistance, 73.1% on Medicaid or RMA, and a staggering 91.4% on food stamps. We are creating a welfare state on top of a welfare state at a time when the majority of Americans don’t even believe we should be accepting refugees from Syria in the first place.

And let’s not forget that it was President Obama’s ill-fated decisions that tore Syria apart in the first place. Together with Hillary Clinton, this administration decided that it was in the U.S.’s interests to oust Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, leading to one of the deadliest civil wars in history. These refugees are, in many ways, a product of the Obama administration’s terrible Middle Eastern policies. And now Obama comes to us and tells us of our moral responsibility to take these refugees in and pay for them to live in America? As though this crisis just “happened.”

There will not soon come a day when the Obama administration can prove that Syrian refugees pose no security threat to the United States. But even if they were somehow miraculously able to do so, we have a significant economic interest in keeping them out.