The estimated cost to resettle an average, single Middle Eastern refugee in the U.S. over the first five years is $64,370 — or 12 times the United Nations estimates it costs to support a refugee staying in a neighboring Middle Eastern country, according to an analysis from the Center for Immigration Studies.
With the Obama administration planning to admit thousands of refugees from Middle Eastern countries like Syria to the U.S., a new CIS report obtained by Breitbart compares the cost of resettlement in the U.S. with supporting the refugees abroad.
“Given limited funds, the high costs of resettling refugees in the United States means that providing for them in neighboring countries in the Middle East is more cost-effective, allowing us to help more people,” Steven Camarota, lead author of the report and director of research at CIS, said.
According to CIS, while the UN has sought $1,057 annually to support each Syrian refugee living in neighboring Middle Eastern countries it would cost the U.S. $64,370 per refugee in the first five years, or $257,481 per refugee household, to resettle them in the U.S.
The Center for Immigration Studies cites “heavy welfare use” as the main reason why refugees are so costly to resettle. As CIS notes, Middle Eastern refugees in the U.S. have traditionally required a lot of public assistance, with 91 percent on food stamps, 68 percent on cash assistance, and 62 percent on Medicaid, according to the most recent government data.
Several U.S. mayors have recently claimed refugees add to their tax base and promote economic growth, making for a more “culturally diverse” and “economically resilient” city.
The CIS study indicates they are more of a drain on the economy than a boost.
If the U.S. takes in 35,000 refugees next year from countries like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia, which is a reasonable estimate for fiscal 2016, it would cost the U.S. taxpayer $2.3 billion just in the first five years, WND reports.
This does not include the cost of refugees from non-Middle Eastern nations, which will be another 50,000 refugees costing at least another $2.5 billion.
The report comes as Republican lawmakers raise concerns not only about the cost, but also the national security implications of admitting thousands of refugees from terrorist hotbeds.
“The responsible and compassionate course for the United States is to help assist in the placement of refugees as close to their homes as possible,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, said following a hearing on refugee resettlement last month.
“Encouraging millions to abandon their homes in the Middle East only further destabilizes the region, while imposing enormous costs on an American public that is struggling with low pay, rising crime, high deficits, and overstretched community resources,” he added.