Study: American Taxpayers Billed up to $133K per Refugee Resettled in U.S.

A group of Salvadoran migrants start their journey towards the United States in San Salvador, on January 20, 2020. (Photo by MARVIN RECINOS / AFP) (Photo by MARVIN RECINOS/AFP via Getty Images)
MARVIN RECINOS/AFP via Getty Images

American taxpayers are billed up to $133,000 per refugee resettled in the United States over the course of a lifetime, a new study reveals.

Research by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) finds that each refugee resettled in the U.S. cost American taxpayers anywhere on average between $60,000 and $133,000 over the course of a lifetime.

CIS researchers said the average refugee will cost taxpayers roughly $60,000 over a lifetime, though adult refugees — due to their low educational attainment — cost taxpayers upwards of $133,000.

“No plausible model, not even the National Academies’ best-case scenario, comes close to suggesting that refugees who enter as adults will be net fiscal contributors,” CIS researchers note. “Refugee-specific costs add about 22 percent over and above the cost of other immigrants, but low education by itself is enough to push adult refugees’ estimated fiscal impact well into negative territory.”

The researchers argue “it may be possible to help a greater number of displaced people overseas rather than paying to settle them” in the U.S.

“Overseas assistance could allow some refugees to eventually resettle in countries where they have stronger cultural or historical ties than they do with the United States,” the CIS researchers write.

For Fiscal Year 2020, Trump will continue cutting refugee admissions by reducing former President Barack Obama’s refugee inflow by at least 80 percent. This reduction would mean a maximum of 18,000 refugees can be resettled in the U.S. between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020. This is merely a numerical limit and not a goal federal officials are supposed to reach.

Trump sought to allow American communities and states to have a say in whether they wanted to resettle refugees in their towns and cities, giving them veto power. A federal judge, though, has temporarily blocked that executive order from taking effect.

The federally mandated refugee resettlement program has brought more than 977,000 refugees to the U.S. between 2002 and 2019 — a population nearly double the size of Wyoming, where 577,000 residents live. In that period, about 109,000 refugees have been resettled in California, 85,000 resettled in Texas, nearly 59,000 resettled in New York, and more than 48,000 resettled in Florida.

Refugee resettlement costs American taxpayers nearly $9 billion every five years, according to the latest research. Over the course of five years, an estimated 16 percent of all refugees admitted will need housing assistance paid for by taxpayers.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder

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