Officials with the pro-mass immigration Koch brothers’ network of billionaire donor class organizations say refugees to the United States are “enrichment” and President Trump’s continued reductions to refugee resettlement “undermine” the program’s goals.
This month, Trump further reduced refugee resettlement by capping annual admissions at 15,000 for Fiscal Year 2021 — a more than 16 percent reduction to this year’s cap and a more than 80 percent reduction compared to Obama-Biden era refugee levels.
The cap is merely a numerical limit and not a goal federal officials are supposed to reach.
In response, the Koch network — including Americans for Prosperity and the Libre Initiative — says they oppose reductions to the refugee resettlement program, writing in a statement that refugees provide “enrichment” for American communities.
The Koch network writes in their statement:
For 40 years, the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program has extended the American dream to millions throughout the world that were seeking refuge from persecution and conflict, and empowered them to contribute to our communities through the development of their talents and ambitions in pursuit of a better life. Our refugee resettlement program has made America an example to the rest of the world of the enrichment that can come to both natives and newcomers as a result of welcoming refugees to this land of liberty. [Emphasis added]
Unfortunately, the continued cuts to the refugee admissions program undermine this long-held practice and ignores the immeasurable value that refugees bring to our local communities and our national economy. This latest reduction in resettlement—another cut to legal immigration—lessens our capacity to stand with the victims of persecution from authoritarian tyrants to socialist dictators. [Emphasis added]
In recent decades, presidents of both parties have recognized the domestic and international value of refugee resettlement and the role it plays in our country’s legacy as a protector of human rights. We urge the administration to work with Congress towards solutions that welcome those escaping persecution and protect the safety and health of the American people. Our organizations support welcoming immigrants and refugees yearning for freedom and opportunity and we must remain committed to upholding this tradition. [Emphasis added]
The Koch network, while more than 30 million Americans were jobless and underemployed during the Chinese coronavirus crisis, advocated for increasing legal immigration levels to the U.S. to add to the labor pool competing against American workers.
The rebuke of reductions to the refugee resettlement program by the Koch network matches criticism from the refugee lobby — some of whom are contractors that are paid to resettle refugees.
Taxpayer-Funded Refugee Contractors: Trump’s Reduction in Refugee Resettlement ‘Dishonors’ America https://t.co/MD96eQSqH9
— John Binder 👽 (@JxhnBinder) October 1, 2020
Nine refugee contractors — which have a monopoly over the program — have a vested interest in ensuring as many refugees are resettled across the U.S. as possible, because their annual federally-funded budgets are contingent on the number of refugees they resettle.
Those refugee contractors include:
Church World Service (CWS), Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC), Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM), Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), International Rescue Committee (IRC), U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS), U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and World Relief Corporation (WR).
Over the last 19 years, more than 985,000 refugees have been admitted to the country. This is a number more than double that of residents living in Miami, Florida, and would be the equivalent of adding the population of Pensacola, Florida, to the country every year.
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.