Clinton’s plan would increase refugee admissions to over half a million total during her first term alone.
Under the Obama administration, the United States takes in 75,000 refugees annually, PLUS the 10,000 cap for Syrian refugees which Obama has set. In September 2015, Hillary Clinton stated that’s not nearly enough. Clinton said she wants to increase the Syrian refugee limit from 10,000 to 65,000 annually, on top of the basic refugee program. This would be an additional 55,000 Syrian refugees annually.
“We’re facing the worst refugee crisis since the end of World War II and I think the United States has to do more,” the former secretary of state said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “I would like to see us move from what is a good start with 10,000 to 65,000 and begin immediately to put into place the mechanisms for vetting the people that we would take in.”
Senator Jeff Sessions provided an analysis last week from the Subcommittee on Immigration and The National Interest, with just how much this will cost over the next four years, should Clinton become President.
The analysis points out that the Obama administration’s set target for fiscal year 2017 is 100,000 refugees. Add Clinton’s additional 55,000 Syrian refugees to that results in a staggering 155,000 refugees pouring into the United States every year. Multiply that by four years is a whopping 620,000 refugees – a population roughly the size of Baltimore, Session explains.
The analysis reveals that the costs of the Refugee Admissions Program is much, much greater than just what is budgeted by the State Department to get them here – as that budge does not include costs related to Medicaid, cash assistance, food stamps, and other services – nor does it include costs on state and local governments for social services, healthcare, education, disability, retirement and other costs to the community. “The true lifetime cost of admitting a single refugee must include an accounting of all benefits received by that refugee – at the federal, state, and local levels, and over the course of that refugee’s lifespan. Any other calculation is akin to saying that the total cost of owning a new car is encapsulated in the down payment.”
A study by Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation estimates the total lifetime cost of admitting just 10,000 refugees if $6.5 BILLION. Working out the math, the subcommittee comes up with $403 BILLION in lifetime costs to taxpayers over Clinton’s first term in office.
But it gets worse – because these numbers still do not account for the fact that refugees then bring in additional family members after being admitted to the United States.
Indeed, if an individual refugee’s spouse or unmarried children were not admitted at the same time as the refugee, they are eligible to “follow-to-join” and be admitted to the United States for two years after the individual refugee’s admission. One year after being admitted to the United States, refugees are eligible to adjust to Lawful Permanent Resident status (i.e. obtain a “green card”), enabling them to petition for additional family members. And assuming that a refugee becomes a Lawful Permanent Resident, he or she is further eligible to naturalize five years after being admitted to the United States, enabling them to bring in additional relatives. Thus, the total cost of admitting a certain number of refugees in any given year could be even higher than Mr. Rector predicts.
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