Letter to the Editor

The true cost of refugee resettlement

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Dear Editor,

We are all busy working hard to pay our taxes and make a living, but please take time to hear who is dipping into your pocket now: the refugee resettlement program!

LB505, recently introduced in the Nebraska Legislature, seeks to make the financial price of refugee resettlement "transparent" to citizens and those governing our State.

Here are few facts that will hopefully pique your curiosity and motivate you to be actively involved!

"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."1

This figure 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."2

These figures do not include welfare and food stamps, many public schools costs, Head Start, Earned Income Tax Credit and more. Heavy welfare use by Middle Eastern refugees include 91% receive food stamps and 68% received cash assistance.

1 "The High Cost of Resettling Middle Eastern Refugees", Karen Zeigler, Steven A,. Camarota, Center for Immigration Studies, November 2015.

2 Ibid.

3 "Trump order on refugees, Muslims sparks confusion, worry", Associated Press ,Published: January 28, 2017, 8:45 pm

As of late 2016, of the 10,801 Syrian refugees allowed into the U.S. since 2011, only 56 -- less than one half of a percent -- are Christians. Over 98 percent are Muslim.

"According to the statistics maintained by the Homeland Security Department, about 17,000 students from the seven designated countries were allowed into the U.S. for the 2015-2016 school year. In 2015 more than 86,000 people from those countries arrived in the U.S. on other, non-immigrant visas and more than 52,000 others became legal permanent residents."3

Are many refugees coming to Nebraska? Yes. In 2016 fiscal year, Nebraska led the nation in the number of refugees resettled per capita.

The national average was 26 refugees per 100,000 residents -- but Nebraska settled 76 per 100,000 residents! Think of the cost.

No wonder we have a budget shortfall we are struggling with.

Who brings the refugees? The Volunteer Agencies or "VOLAGS" in Nebraska are Lutheran Family Services, Southern Sudan Community Association and Catholic Social Services. These contractors provide $1 for every $2 of grant money received. The maximum grant money is $2,200 per head. Only 20 percent of the VOLAG contribution or $440 must be in cash; the rest is "in kind".

The money is paid by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) -- thanks to our federal tax dollars. This "business" of bringing refugees is a big money make and explains why they were speaking out against the President's 120-day temporary ban.

In 2014, 82 percent of the active Tuberculosis (Tb) cases in Nebraska were diagnosed in the foreign-born population which only makes up 6 percent of Nebraska's total population.

In late November 2016, an active case of Tb was diagnosed in Benson High (Omaha) where 18.6 percent of the student body are foreign born students. Testing of those near that student resulted in 7 latent cases being identified.

To protect our citizens, it is important that changes be made to our intake procedures.

You have a choice -- either be an "ostrich" or speak up!

The hearing is March 2nd with the Judicial Committee of the Legislature.

Will you support LB505 and require accountability and protect our children?

Kathy Wilmot

Beaver City, Neb.

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  • It is very wise to look at the large fiscal costs of the refugee program. Another question needs ask. Why would the U.S. allow military age men and women refugees to live in our country and then send U.S. Military men and women to go and fight, be wounded and die in the countries the refugees are leaving. We should be training them and supplying those refugees to fight their own battles.

    -- Posted by dennis on Thu, Feb 9, 2017, at 3:49 PM
  • Excellent response Kathy Wilmot. I wonder, however, the comparison of cost ($64,370, to $257,481), as something is not linear in the comparison. I'm not challenging the cost, so much as one seems a fixed number, and the second, an 'average.' It is the 'average,' IMO, that is somewhat misleading, due to the fact that 'some' of these 'refugees,' have up to four wives, and many more 'progeny,' than usually shown in the 'Photo-op,' presented, then, having benefits, tallying to numbers much greater, but nearer to, up to $257,000, plus, 'per year,' (having more children, and three-females, called 'family,' although, truly 'wives,' also producing children for their 'male family member/husband.' ...enough on that part...

    If I may, reference 'Refugee,' from 'Immigrant,' being that 'Refugee,' is usually connoted as 'temporarily harbored,' and Immigrant, accepted into the lifestyle, with both of these, required to honor, and accept the Host, Lifestyle; (I paraphrase); yet, for some reason, We the People, seem to feel more sorry for the 'supposed, Refugee,' than the Immigrant, even though both have, mostly, given up, everything of historic value, to them and family, yet, only the supposed, refugee, will receive, like you say, (FAR)greater recompense, at Taxpayer, EXPENSE. To that, I say 'Aaarrgghh!! and (bleep)!!!

    And, now to the 'Chase,' the present, Muslim, supposed Refugees, are coddled and given special consideration, and rules of Political Correctness, that We the People must offer, or else, which leads me to my closing question, with preface: IF, the Refugee is so 'HOT,' to continue the way of life, that dictates the 'Destruction,' of any other Way of LIFE, that is not of their own (Birth to Death) Grilling, should they, in their Transformation of every place they set their foot, into the Realm of ISLAM, (the very, murderous system they flee from), then, Ladies, and Gentlemen, WHY, do we beg a person, or people, that would, when they can/could, destroy We the People, into Slavery, or Death??? Perhaps, they should stay, where they FLEE From, and be a part of the movement to correct their own ways, rather than FLEE to the 'Western Countries,' and immediately separate themselves from the Society that has accepted them, in the attempt to live up to the Rules, of the Society they Flee?? NUF-SAID....

    (OH, in my experience, and understanding, 'A Moderate, Muslim, is committing ['Hutnah/Hudnah'] {something like that}, (living, or doing a lie, until strong enough to overcome //usually by 'Terroristic-Murder,' of the most Frightening, and Heinous WAY).

    Comment: IF, We the People do not return to the Constitutional Ways, formatted, and believed in, by our Founding Fathers, and Return to God/Jesus, our Creator, very soon, He may condemn the 'Left-Behind,' of We the People, to Seven Years of Warnings, and Judgment, far Greater than suffered, by Pharaoh, and Egypt.


    -- Posted by Navyblue on Fri, Feb 10, 2017, at 10:25 AM
  • Since the liberal Ninth Circuit Court halted the Trump travel ban a week ago over 800 people from the countries the Obama administration designated as terriorist and Trump designated for the ban have entered the U.S.

    -- Posted by dennis on Fri, Feb 10, 2017, at 4:21 PM
  • Navyblue, the figure of $257,481 was based on a "family of 4" - so, a Muslim with 4 wives and each wife with 3 children would actually add up to 4 families for the one male Muslim - or $1,029,294+ in a 5 year period. And - many come with multiple wives and children.

    More information is available at www.cis.org/High-Cost-of-Resettling-Middle-Eastern-Refugees .

    -- Posted by Kathy Wilmot on Fri, Feb 10, 2017, at 11:20 PM
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