High Cost of Resettling Middle Eastern Refugees

High cost of Resettling Middle Eastern Refugees

Asheville and 50 mile radius is a target area.

 Here are the first two pages of a December 2015 study by the Center for Immigration Studies on Refugee Resettlement costs. Website for full report follows. This is extremely important, because many local communities are lead to believe by the sponsors and the State Department that most of the cost will be absorbed by the Federal Government. This is extremely misleading. First of all, Federal Government costs are paid by you in Federal taxes. Secondly, most of the burden actually falls on state and local government, and there are many costs that are not included.   The study was based on past experience and current welfare burden rates for Middle Eastern refugees, whose average education in just 10.5 years.

 Just to highlight a few: The cost for one refugees over the first five years is $64,370 or $12,874 per year. The dost per household is $257,481 for the first five years or $51,496 per household per year. The lifetime costs would be much higher as lower educated immigrants seldom pay more taxes of all kinds than benefits and services drawn. Senator Jeff Sessions (R,AL) just released some similar statistics. I assume CIS was a main source.

 In addition, there are public health, public safety, and educational burdens that must be borne by the state and local communities.

 Handling refugees in safe Middle Eastern zones costs only one twelfth what it cost in the U.S.!!!!! 

 Although many church sponsors believe refugees are a good mission field, State Department regulations forbid the use of the program for that purpose. The large sponsors of these programs are paid on a per capita basis, which is a built in conflict of interests.

 The experience of many communities is that State Department and Federal Refugee organizations will roll right over citizens and local government unless they show strong resistance.

 The Asheville area and 50 mile radius is one of ten top refugee targets in Federal and North Carolina Refugee Plans. Your County Commissioners, City governments, and State and Federal Legislators must actively oppose this or you’ll get run over by the Obama Fundamental Change of America. This is not just a matter of voting in November. You must work now to make sure your local elected officials strong oppose the Refugee Plans now in the planning stage.

 Mike Scruggs

The High Cost of Resettling Middle Eastern Refugees

 By Karen ZeiglerSteven A. Camarota November 2015

Steven A. Camarota is the Director of Research and Karen Zeigler is a demographer at the Center for Immigration Studies.

As Americans continue to debate what to do about the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, this analysis attempts to estimate the costs of resettling refugees from that region in the United States. 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. The cost of resettlement includes heavy welfare use by Middle Eastern refugees; 91 percent receive food stamps and 68 percent receive cash assistance. Costs also include processing refugees, assistance given to new refugees, and aid to refugee-receiving communities. Given the high costs of resettling refugees in the United States, providing for them in neighboring countries in the Middle East may be a more cost-effective way to help them.

Among the findings of this analysis:

  • On average, each Middle Eastern refugee resettled in the United States costs an estimated $64,370 in the first five years, or $257,481 per household.
  • The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has requested $1,057 to care for each Syrian refugee annually in most countries neighboring Syria.
  • For what it costs to resettle one Middle Eastern refugee in the United States for five years, about 12 refugees can be helped in the Middle East for five years, or 61 refugees can be helped for one year.
  • UNHCR reports a gap of $2.5 billion in funding that it needs to care for approximately four million Syrians in neighboring countries.
  • The five-year cost of resettling about 39,000 Syrian refugees in the United States is enough to erase the current UNHCR funding gap.
  • The five-year costs of resettlement in the United States include $9,230 spent by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within HHS and the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) within the State Department in the first year, as well as $55,139 in expenditures on welfare and education.
  • Very heavy use of welfare programs by Middle Eastern refugees, and the fact that they have only 10.5 years of education on average, makes it likely that it will be many years, if ever, before this population will cease to be a net fiscal drain on public coffers — using more in public services than they pay in taxes.
  • It is worth adding that ORR often reports that most refugees are self-sufficient within five years. However, ORR defines “self-sufficiency” as not receiving cash welfare. A household is still considered “self-sufficient” even if it is using any number of non-cash programs such as food stamps, public housing, or Medicaid.
  • Refugees are admitted for humanitarian reasons, not because they are supposed to be self-sufficient, so the drain on public coffers that Middle Eastern refugees create is expected. However, given limited resources, the high cost of resettlement in the United States means careful consideration should be given to alternatives to resettlement if the goal is the help as many people possible.


The U.S. government publishes some information on welfare use and money spent to resettle refugees in the United States. Based on that information, this analysis finds that the costs of resettling refugees in the United States are quite high, even without considering all of the costs refugees create. We conservatively estimate that the costs total $64,370 in the first five years for each Middle Eastern refugee. This is 61 times what it costs to care for one Syrian refugee in a neighboring country for a single year or about 12 times the cost of providing for a refugee for five years. It must be kept in mind that refugees are admitted for humanitarian reasons, so the high cost of refugee resettlement is to be expected. But funds are limited and UNHCR is chronically short of money to help the millions of refugees in the world, including those in the Middle East