Trump rejects findings on net benefit of immigration

Cheryl Sanders
September 20, 2017

On Monday, a leaked draft of an internal Department of Health and Human Services report found refugees, in particular, have netted the government $63 billion in revenue over an nearly 10-year period, The New York Times reported.

"The actual report pursuant to the presidential memorandum shows that refugees with few skills coming from war-torn countries take more government benefits from the Department of Health and Human Services than the average population, and are not a net benefit to the USA economy", Raj Shah said.

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A report in the New York Times describes an initiative driven by White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller that would whack annual refugee admittances below the current cap fixed by Trump of 50,000, already the lowest number since at least 1980 and less than half the 110,000 that President Barack Obama set in his previous year in office.

Trump rejects findings on net benefit of immigration

That study said refugees brought in $63 billion more in government revenue over the past decade than they cost agencies.

This HHS study disproves the second rationale Miller has used to argue for drastic cuts to the USA refugee resettlement program.

The HHS report was completed sometime in July but never released. An internal email, dated September 5 and sent among officials from government agencies involved in refugee issues, said that "senior leadership is questioning the assumptions used to produce the report".

"As the president requested, the reports will look at the estimated long-term costs of the USRAP at the federal, state, and local levels along with recommendations about how to curtail those costs, as well as how many refugees are being supported in countries of first asylum and those associated costs", the spokesperson said.

The issue has sparked intense debate within his administration as opponents of the program, led by Trump's chief policy adviser, Stephen Miller, assert that continuing to welcome refugees is too costly and raises concerns about terrorism. Having already cut refugee resettlement by more than half, compared with the Obama administration, officials close to Trump are pushing for a further draconian reduction, to levels not seen since the Cold War.

The White House told the Times the leak was politically motivated.

"In an average year over the 10-year period, per-capita refugee costs for major HHS programs totaled $3,300", it says.

Last week, the Supreme Court issued a temporary ruling to block a 9th Circuit ruling that would have allowed up to 24,000 refugees into the country by the end of next month despite the administration's travel ban.

"Using the cost of resettling one refugee in the United States, we can help more than 10 in their area of origin", Trump told delegates here.

The White House has been mired in internal debates over the amount of refugees to allow into the USA during the next fiscal year.

Trump has advocated for reducing the number of refugees that the USA accepts per year. "We have learned that, over the long term, uncontrolled migration is deeply unfair to both the sending and the receiving countries".

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