Sessions: 10K Syrian Refugees Will Cost Taxpayers $6.5B

Brittany M. Hughes | November 19, 2015
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Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) issued a statement Wednesday claiming that President Obama’s plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States would cost American taxpayers a total of about $6.5 billion in lifetime education, welfare and healthcare costs – all of which are benefits refugees are legally entitled to once they are accepted into the country.

From Sessions’ news release:

A recent analysis finds that admitting 10,000 refugees to the United States presents a net lifetime cost to taxpayers of $6.5 billion, meaning that under the current plan to admit 85,000 refugees this fiscal year, taxpayers will be on the hook for $55 billion.

For the cost of resettling one refugee in America, we could successfully resettle 12 refugees in the region. Creating safe-zones in Syria and the region is a vastly more effective and compassionate strategy. Such a proposal recently was put forth by former Secretary of Defense Gates and General Petraeus, among others.

Recent data from the Center for Immigration Studies show that 91 percent of Middle Eastern refugees are on welfare. About 73 percent were on Medicaid or Refugee Medical Assistance, and another 68 percent were on cash welfare.

From the CIS report:

Although we do not consider all costs, our best estimate is that in their first five years in the United States each refugee from the Middle East costs taxpayers $64,370 — 12 times what the UN estimates it costs to care for one refugee in neighboring Middle Eastern countries.

Each Middle Eastern household costs American taxpayers $257,481 in the first five years after resettlement, CIS added.

On top of the hefty fiscal cost, Sessions also outlined the potential security risk associated with mass refugee resettlement from certain nations:

Each year, the U.S. permanently resettles more than 100,000 Muslim migrants inside the United States. In just the last year, refugees and migrants allowed into America from Bosnia, Somalia, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Ghana, Kuwait and Bangladesh have been implicated in terrorism. And, as we have seen, the U.S.-born children of migrants are also at risk for radicalization. 

… Moreover, when the Administration was asked if Syrian refugees could end up coming to the United States and joining ISIS like Minnesota’s Somali refugees, the answer was blunt: ‘we can’t predict the future.’

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