The cost of refugees to you
Bottom Line: One of the many agenda items of the Biden administration this week is to increase the flow of refugees into the US. It might seem somewhat odd that an early administration priority would be to import more people into the country than during normal times. It’s even more curious during a pandemic in which concerns of contagions from aboard are top of mind and the unemployment rate, at 6.7% has left over 20 million Americans either unemployed or underemployed. Alas, through and executive order it’s set to happen. The President of the United States is the arbiter of refugee programs. After the Obama administration steadily grew the number of accepted refugees accepted from 60,000 in 2008 to 85,000, in 2016 the Trump administration reduced the number of accepted refugees. The policy for 2020 was set at 15,000 of which only 11,000 gained entry to the US due to the pandemic. It’s unclear where President Biden will go, though he’s set to take executive action this week to expand the program. Here’s how the refugee process works.
- We pay to bring refugees into the United States.
- According to the Center for Immigration Studies, the typical immigrant relies on government assistance for five years
- The average five-year cost per refugee is $64,370
So, what happens when we bring refugees into the US? At best they immediately go on government assistance while becoming successfully employed within a short period of time. Aside from cultural, and often language barriers, education is a huge issue. The average adult refugee is educated, in their own culture, at the equivalent of about a 10th grade level. How's the employment market for a 10th grade education these days? What types of jobs are refugees most commonly occupying? Entry level work, right? Where is the unemployment rate highest? It's with the youngest workers attempting to access the job market. So now we have refugees competing for employment with young Americans trying to break into the job market - and that's the best-case outcome.
Here we are with over twenty million Americans in need of work and opportunity while we’re $23 trillion in debt but we’ll prioritize paying more than $64,000 per person to bring in people that then compete for resources with those that are struggling most in our society. That makes sense, right? That doesn't even account for any of the potential risk factors that might result from not being able to properly vet many of these refugees. It shouldn't be controversial to suggest that we should halt refugee programs until we're able to pay our own obligations and take care of the needs of Americans.
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