Officials from the Department of Health and Human Services issued a draft report in July determining that refugees “contributed an estimated $269.1 billion in revenues to all levels of government” between 2005 and 2014, through the payment of federal, state and local taxes. The Trump administration rejected the report.
The report — which categorizes expenditure item-by-item — reveals that an increase in refugees is helpful to the economy. More specifically, the report reveals that refugees, listed by country of origin, generated $63 billion more in government revenues over the past decade than they cost. Though this draft report was not released to the public, despite its completion over the summer, The New York Times has acquired it.
With a White House seeking plausible reasons to refuse refugees in the United States in 2018, Trump administration officials rejected the study upon which the draft report was based.
Most recently, President Trump decided upon 45,000 as the permissible number of refugees to accept into the U.S. annually, beginning in the 2018 fiscal year, effective October 1. This policy, which rolls out October 18 — the day the 120-day refugee ban is set to expire — permits the fewest refugees into the country since 1980. As a comparison, former President Barack Obama had raised the refugee quota from 70,000 to 85,000 in the 2016 fiscal year, and then to 110,000 for 2017. In the almost 40 years the refugee admissions program has existed, the lowest number has been 67,000, until now.
The Department of Homeland Security advises against fewer than 40,000, while officials at the State Department as well as the Department of Defense believe the number should not have gone lower than a prior proposed number of 50,000.
President Trump’s chief policy adviser, Stephen Miller, who leads the restrictions program, urged President Trump to admit half that number or fewer — 15,000 was one such discussed number — under the notion that refugees are costly and heighten the risk of terrorism within the nation’s borders.
However, not all of the Trump administration supports restrictions on refugees.
Opponents of this program assert that refugees benefit the country, paying more in taxes than they consume in publicly-funded programs and taking jobs most Americans decline.
Unfortunately, the research-backed numbers report — which President Trump mandated on March 6 in a presidential memorandum (implementing his now-infamous travel ban) to the Secretary of State, the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security — never reached the White House. Some opponents of the restrictions on refugees believe the report was suppressed.
On this matter, Congressional Democrats have addressed White House Chief of Staff Gen. John F. Kelly without hesitation.
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