Cost of Resettling Middle Eastern Refugees in U.S. Revealed


When you welcome refugees, you are also welcoming them to your paycheck.

New research by the Center for Immigration Studies shows the high price Americans pay to resettle Middle Eastern refugees in the US. In fact, it’s exponentially higher than the costs of resettling those people in nearby countries.

Demographer Karen Zeigler and Director of Research Steven Camarota analyzed the actual costs associated with 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 researchers pointed out, noting that most refugee families take full advantage of American welfare benefit programs, including food stamps (91 percent) and cash assistance (68 percent).


The report states that 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. Compare this with the $1,057 requested by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to care for each Syrian refugee annually in most countries neighboring Syria.

Other costs include processing refugees, assistance given to new refugees, and aid to those communities taking them in.

“Providing for them in neighboring countries in the Middle East may be a more cost-effective way to help them,” researchers advised. “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.”

H/T: Center For Immigration Studies

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