A new report from The Department of State revealed how much the U.S. refugee program is costing American taxpayers. Nearly $100 billion was spent on welfare benefits for 606,000 refugees between 2005-2014. Whenever Refugee spouses and children are included in the calculation, the cost jumps up $126 billion over the course of ten years.
“The $126 billion bill is just for programs managed by the department of Health and and Human Services,” Breitbart reports. “It excludes additional taxpayers’ spending via state programs, as well as federal spending on Social Security, education, and housing programs, plus tax credits.”
Thus, this $126 billion number is a modest one, which in actuality is much larger depending on how many categories of services are to be included in the calculation. Provisions for refugees have not changed, and more refugees are brought into America by the year. The year over year bill has therefore been increasing, rather than staying stagnant or decreasing.
During the last three years of his administration, Obama imported an additional 155,000 refugees. In 2017, Trump allowed in 53,000 refugees. In 2018, Trump has slowed the inflow of refugees. Less than 30,000 have been accepted thus far this year, and the cap is set not to exceed 45,000 total refugees. Trump has since lowered the cap for 2019 down to 30,000.
Based off of this calculation, a safe estimate would have up to 800,000 refugees receiving benefits in 2018. Before any new measurements are taken to best understand how this impacts Americans financially, “the huge cost [already] adds up to $670 per working American,” Breitbart reports. The large heart of the American populace comes with a heavy price tag.
Americans are paying for the presence of refugees with more than just their wallets. The opportunity cost, while not so easy to put a number on, is certainly not negligible. Providing wide scale welfare benefits to refugees “is also a huge subsidy to the low-wage employers who hired the refugees in place of higher-wage Americans,” Breitbart notes.
If an employer’s labor force has their livelihood paid for by the government, the pressure to provide higher wages is relaxed. Refugees have many expenses already covered, thus employers are relieved of the responsibility to provide a modest wage for a decent standard of living.
This is not the case for potential employees that are not receiving welfare benefits, like the average American. Americans are thus being out competed in the workforce due to their independence and demand for a living wage. Employers are wise to take advantage of this system and prioritize refugees. For if one employer does not, another one will. Employers are in constant competition with each other, and profit margins matter in the win or go home nature of the marketplace.
Americans are having money taken out of their wallet every year for the preservation of the U.S. refugee program. At the same time, average Americans are now forced to compete with low wage labor. As more refugees enter the states, and those already here continue to stay, these symptoms continue to become more prominent.